Equality regardless of political party, Equality regardless of race, Equality regardless of gender, Equality regardless of origin, Equality regardless of skin color, Equality regardless of creed or belief
3. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual
Whereas every person in Antigua and Barbuda is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, regardless of race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-
Right to own property
life, liberty, security of the person, the enjoyment of property and the protection of the law;
Freedom of assembly, Freedom of association, Freedom of press, Freedom of expression
freedom of conscience, of expression (including freedom of the press) and of peaceful assembly and association; and
Right to own property
protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without fair compensation,
the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.
Protection from unjustified restraint
5. Protection of right to personal liberty
- No person shall be deprived of his personal liberty save as may be authorised by law in any of the following cases, that is to say-
- in consequence of his unfitness to plead to a criminal charge;
- in execution of the sentence or order of a court, whether established for Antigua and Barbuda or some other country, in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been convicted;
- in execution of an order of the High Court or of the Court of Appeal or such other court as may be prescribed by Parliament on the grounds of his contempt of any such court or of another court or tribunal;
- in execution of the order of a court made in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation imposed on him by law;
- for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court;
- upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or of being about to commit a criminal offence under any law;
- under the order of a court or with the consent of his parent or guardian, for his education or welfare during any period ending not later than the date when he attains the age of eighteen years;
- for the purpose of preventing the spread of an infectious or contagious disease;
Drugs, alcohol, and illegal substances
in the case of a person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, of unsound mind, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or a vagrant, for the purpose of his care or treatment or the protection of the community;
for the purpose of preventing the unlawful entry of that person into Antigua and Barbuda, or for the purpose of effecting the expulsion, extradition or other lawful removal of that person from Antigua and Barbuda or for the purpose of restricting that person while he is being conveyed through Antigua and Barbuda in the course of his extradition or removal as a convicted prisoner from one country to another; or
- to such extent as may be necessary in the execution of a lawful order requiring that person to remain within a specified area within Antigua and Barbuda or prohibiting him from being within such an area or to such extent as may be reasonably justifiable for the taking of proceedings against that person relating to the making of any such order or relating to such an order after it has been made, or to such extent as may be reasonably justifiable for restraining that person during any visit that he is permitted to make to any part of Antigua and Barbuda in which, in consequence of any such order, his presence would otherwise be unlawful.
- Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed orally and in writing as soon as reasonably practicable, in language that he understands, of the reason for his arrest or detention.
- Any person who is arrested or detained shall have the right, at any stage and at his own expense, to retain and instruct without delay a legal practitioner of his own choice, and to hold private communications with him, and in the case of a minor he shall also be afforded a reasonable opportunity for communication with his parent or guardian.
- When a person is arrested, excessive bail shall not be required in those cases where bail is being granted.
- Any person who is arrested or detained-
- for the purpose of bringing him before a court in execution of the order of a court; or
- upon reasonable suspicion of his having committed or being about to commit a criminal offence under any law,
and who is not released shall be brought before the court within forty-eight hours after his detention and, in computing time for the purposes of this subsection, Sundays and public holidays shall be excluded.
Right to pre-trial release
If any person arrested or detained as mentioned in subsection (5)(b) of this section is not tried within a reasonable time, then, without prejudice to any further proceedings which may be brought against him, he shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including in particular such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears at a later date for trial or for proceedings preliminary to trial and, subject to subsection (4) of this section, such conditions may include bail.
Protection from false imprisonment
Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained by any other person shall, subject to such defences as may be provided by law, be entitled to compensation for such unlawful arrest or detention from the person who made the arrest or effected the detention, from any person or authority on whose behalf the person making the arrest or effecting the detention was acting or from them both:
Provided that a judge, a magistrate or a justice of the peace or an officer of a court or a police officer acting in pursuance of the order of a judge, a magistrate or a justice of the peace shall not be under any personal liability to pay compensation under this subsection in consequence of any act performed by him in good faith in the discharge of the functions of his office and any liability to pay any such compensation in consequence of any such act shall be a liability of the Crown.
- For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, a person charged with a criminal offence in respect of whom a special verdict has been returned that he was guilty of the act or omission charged but was insane when he did the act or made the omission shall be regarded as a person who has been convicted of a criminal offence and the detention of that person in consequence of such a verdict shall be regarded as detention in execution of the order of a court.
Protection from expropriation
9. Protection from deprivation of property
- No property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right to or over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, except for public use and except in accordance with the provisions of a law applicable to that taking of possession or acquisition and for the payment of fair compensation within a reasonable time.
- Every person having an interest in or right to or over property which is compulsorily taken possession of or whose interest in or right to or over any property is compulsorily acquired shall have the right of access to the High Court for-
- the determination of his interest or right, the legality of the taking of possession or acquisition of the property, interest or right and the amount of any compensation to which he is entitled; and
- the purpose of obtaining payment of that compensation:
Provided that if Parliament so provides in relation to any matter referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection the right of access shall be by way of appeal (exercisable as of right at the instance of the person having the interest in or right to or over the property) from a tribunal or authority, other than the High Court, having jurisdiction under any law to determine that matter.
- The Chief Justice may make rules with respect to the practice and procedure of the High Court or any other tribunal or authority in relation to the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by subsection (2) of this section or exercisable by the other tribunal or authority for the purposes of that subsection (including rules with respect to the time within which application or appeals to the High Court or applications to the other tribunals or authority may be brought).
- Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section-
- to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the taking of possession or acquisition of any property, interest or right-
- in satisfaction of any tax, rate or due;
- by way of penalty for breach of the law or forfeiture in consequence of breach of the law;
- as an incident of a lease, tenancy, mortgage, charge, bill of sale, pledge or contract;
- in the execution of judgments or orders of a court in proceedings for the determination of civil rights or obligations;
- in circumstances where it is reasonably necessary so to do because the property is in a dangerous state or likely to be injurious to the health of human beings, animals or plants;
- in consequence of any law with respect to the limitation of actions;
Protection of environment
for so long as may be necessary for the purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or enquiry or, in the case of land, for the purposes of the carrying out thereon of work of soil conservation or the conservation of other natural resources or work relating to agricultural development or improvement (being work relating to such development or improvement that the owner or occupier of the land has been required, and has without reasonable excuse refused or failed, to carry out),
and except so far as the provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society;
- to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the taking of possession or acquisition of any of the following property (including an interest in or right to or over property), that is to say-
- enemy property;
- property of a deceased person, a person of unsound mind or a person who had not attained the age of eighteen years, for the purpose of its administration for the benefit of the persons entitled to the beneficial interest therein;
- the property of a person adjudged bankrupt or a body corporate in liquidation, for the purpose of its administration for the benefit of the creditors of the bankrupt or body corporate and, subject thereto, for the benefit of other persons entitled to the beneficial interest in the property; or
- property subject to a trust, for the purpose of vesting the property in persons appointed as trustees under the instrument creating the trust or by a court or by order of a court for the purposes of giving effect to the trust.
- Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law enacted by Parliament shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision for the compulsory taking of possession of any property, or the compulsory acquisition of any interest in or right to or over property, where that property, interest or right is held by a body corporate established by law for public purposes in which no monies have been invested other than monies provided by Parliament or any legislature established for the former colony or Associated State of Antigua.
- For the purposes of this section, "use" is "public" if it is intended to result or results in a benefit or advantage to the public and, without prejudice to its generality, includes any use affecting the physical, economic, social or aesthetic well-being of the public.
Freedom of press, Freedom of expression
12. Protection of freedom of expression including freedom of the press
- Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression.
- For the purposes of this section the said freedom includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive information and ideas without interference, freedom to disseminate information and ideas without interference (whether the dissemination be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence or other means of communication.
Reference to art, Radio, Television
For the purposes of this section expression may be oral or written or by codes, signals, signs or symbols and includes recordings, broadcasts (whether on radio or television), printed publications, photographs (whether still or moving), drawings, carvings and sculptures or any other means of artistic expression.
- Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision-
Right to protect one's reputation
that is reasonably required-
- in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
- for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons, or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings and proceedings before statutory tribunals, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of Parliament and the courts, or regulating telephony, posts, broadcasting or other means of communication, public entertainments, public shows; or
- that imposes restrictions upon public officers that are reasonably required for the proper performance of their functions,
and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
General guarantee of equality
14. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, sex etc
- Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
- Subject to the provisions of subsections (6), (7) and (8) of this section, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
Equality regardless of creed or belief, Equality regardless of origin, Equality regardless of skin color, Equality regardless of race, Equality regardless of political party, Equality regardless of gender
In this section, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, colour, creed, or sex whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages that are not accorded to persons of another such description.
- Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any law so far as the law makes provision-
- for the appropriation of public revenues or other public funds;
Requirements for birthright citizenship
with respect to persons who are not citizens; or
- whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage that, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
- Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section to the extent that it makes provision with respect to qualifications (not being qualifications specifically relating to race, place of origin, political opinions or affiliations, colour, creed or sex) for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.
- Subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to anything that is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (4) or (5) of this section.
- Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of this Constitution, being such a restriction as is authorised by paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (3) of section 8, subsection (2) of section 10, subsection (4) of section 11, subsection (4) of section 12 or subsection (2) of section 13, as the case may be.
- Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law.
16. Derogations from fundamental rights and freedoms under emergency powers
Nothing contained in or done under the authority of a law enacted by Parliament shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of section 5 or section 14 of this Constitution to the extent that the law authorises the taking during any period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable, for dealing with the situation that exists in Antigua and Barbuda during that period.
19. Protection from derogations from fundamental rights and freedoms generally
Except as is otherwise expressly provided in this Constitution, no law may abrogate, abridge or infringe or authorise the abrogation, abridgement or infringement of any of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual hereinbefore recognised and declared.