Skip to main content

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda has dedicated legislation on terrorism adopted in 2005 and amended in 2020. The law provides explicit exceptions for strikes and demonstrations except where they create a serious risk to the health or safety of the public. 

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act defines terrorism as a set of predicate acts where the offence  

is intended, or by its nature and context, may reasonably be regarded as being intended to —
(i) intimidate the public or a section of the public; or
(ii) compel a government or an international organization to do, or refrain from doing, any act;
(iii) is made for the purpose of advancing a political, ideological or a religious cause. Definition of 'terrorist act' in S. 2(1), 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The predicate acts include serious bodily harm to a person or serious damage to property; acts designed or intended to disrupt essential emergency services such as police, civil defence or medical services; and cyber attacks to disrupt "any computer system or the provision of services directly related to communications infrastructure, banking or financial services, utilities, transportation or other essential infrastructure".

Excepted from the definition is "an act which disrupts any services; and is committed in pursuance of a protest, industrial action, demonstration or stoppage of work", unless the action involves serious bodily harm to a person or serious damage to property, endangers a person’s life, or creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public. Definition of 'terrorist act' in S. 2(1), 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties

Antigua and Barbuda is a State Party to all of the major United Nations treaties on terrorism.

Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party

At regional level, Antigua and Barbuda has adhered to the 2002 Inter-American Convention against Terrorism.

Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
2002 Inter-American Convention against Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The primary terrorism legislation in Antigua and Barbuda is the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act, as amended by the 2020 Act. The 2005 law stipulates that any person, who

(a) does, or threatens to do, or does an act preparatory to or in furtherance of, a terrorist act; or
(b) omits to do anything that is reasonably necessary to prevent a terrorist act,
commits an offence and is liable on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty-five years. S. 5, 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Failure to prevent a terrorist act is thus also a serious crime under Antigua and Barbuda law. Similar penalties exist for the financing of terrorism. S. 6, 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

A conviction for being a member of or recruiting for a terrorist group or trains terrorists attracts a term of up to fifteen years' imprisonment. Ss. 13, 14, and 18, 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act. 

The 2020 Act broadens the powers of the authorities to prevent and suppressing the financing of terrorist groups or activities.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

Antigua and Barbuda does not have a dedicated counterterrorism police unit but the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda has a Special Branch that is responsible for identifying potential terrorist-related activity within the community as well as for the exchange of intelligence with foreign counterterrorism partners. 


Antigua & Barbuda 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act

Antigua & Barbuda 2020 Prevention of Terrorism (Amendment) Act