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Jamaica has dedicated counterterrorism legislation adopted in 2005 and amended most recently in 2019. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment. There are carve-outs for the exercise of certain fundamental human rights and for lawful acts (according to international humanitarian law) committed in the context of an armed conflict.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Under the 2015 Terrorism Prevention Act, a terrorist offence means aircraft hijacking or a series of predicate offences committed intentionally whether through act of omission where

the act or omission is committed in whole or in part for a political, religious, or ideological purpose, objective, or cause with the intention of—

(a) intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic security; or

(b) compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act, whether the person, government or organization, is inside or outside Jamaica.S. 3(4), 2015 Terrorism Prevention Act.

The predicate offences include acts or omissions that cause death or serious bodily harm or endangers a person’s life, or the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public. Also encompassed is substantial property damage, whether to public or private property, if such damage is likely to result in physical harm.S. 3(2), 2015 Terrorism Prevention Act.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Jamaica is a State Party to all of the main 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


Jamaica has signed but not ratified the main regional treaty on terrorism.


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

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The 2015 Terrorism Prevention Act prescribes life imprisonment as the penalty upon conviction of a terrorist offence.S. 3(1), 2015 Terrorism Prevention Act.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Jamaican Defence Force has a dedicated counterterrorism unit.

In February 2022, the House of Representatives approved the 2022 Terrorism Prevention (Designated Reporting Entity) Order. The designation aims to strengthen the country’s financial and non-financial systems, making them more robust and transparent. Jamaican Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, said money laundering and the financing of terrorism are threats to the financial sector that must be addressed with a sense of urgency.

Dr. Chang informed Parliament that Section 14 of the Terrorism Prevention Act provides that an entity will be classified as a ‘listed entity’ if it is designated as a terrorist entity by the United Nations Security Council, or if the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has reasonable grounds to believe that the entity knowingly committed or participated in the commission of a terrorism offence, or is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with an entity so designated by the United Nations.


Jamaica 2005 Terrorism Prevention Act

Jamaica 2019 Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act