Is it necessary to abridge individual Human Rights in the fight against crime?

By Sophia M. Paz and Mikhail A.C. Jackson    


As human rights have developed over centuries, so have its several interpretations in society, but the overall theme has always remained the same: they are rights inherent to all human beings. Based on this understanding, by definition, human rights cannot be taken away, altered, amended or abridged because they are innate and fundamental to every human being.  However, we do not live in a utopian society where an individual’s human rights can exist absolutely sans limitations, indicating that human rights must be approached as a social construct.  This does not necessarily dilute their significance or make them less real because the Continue reading


A note on the environment and the charter of fundamental rights and freedoms

By Mrs. Arlene Harrison Henry

After many years of gestation the CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS was finally passed by the Jamaican Parliament replacing Chapter 3 of the 1962 Constitution. There is no doubt that the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms expands the list of constitutionally protected human rights.

Added to the list of rights is the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment expressed at section 13 Continue reading

A violent society in conflict with the culture of Human Rights

By Professor John Spence

My article in the last issue concentrated on the death penalty and largely addressed conventional issues. However a major concern of mine is my conviction that the strident calls for the death penalty to be carried out are an expression of violence in our society which can do us no good.

I listened recently to a “TED” talk on the internet which put forward evidence to demonstrate that human beings have become less violent over many centuries, (with reference to individual, mass or state violence). The presenter gave evidence to show that the Continue reading

Anti-gang Legislation: More cons than pros

By Yvonne McCalla Sobers

Jamaican gangs wreak havoc on the society. They steal, murder, extort, intimidate, traffic in guns and drugs, and pose as legitimate business persons. They also spread a “gangsta lifestyle” that has found its way into aspects of Jamaican culture.

The gang threat has persisted in Jamaica despite laws intended to contain gangs. Jamaica’s murder rose from 8 per 100,000 (1974) to 64 per 100,000 (2007) despite draconian Gun Court and Suppression of Crimes Acts. In addition, numbers of gangs have increased from 35 (1994) to Continue reading