Jamaica
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1962
Last Amended As of 5/11/2011, last amendment was in 2011
Source Political Database of the Americas
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of 1999 (later amendments not included)

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

13.

Whereas every person in Jamaica is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, 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-
a. life, liberty, security of the person, the enjoyment of property and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, of expression and of peaceful assembly and association; and
c. respect for his private and family life, the subsequent 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.


21.

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(2) Except with his own consent (or, if he is a minor, the consent of his parent or guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion or a religious body or denomination other than his own.
(3) The constitution of a religious body or denomination shall not be altered except with the consent of the governing authority of that body or denomination.
(4) No religious body or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that body or denomination in the course of any education provided by that body or denomination whether or not that body or denomination is in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance designed to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of such course of education.
(5) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.
(6) 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 which is reasonably required-
a. in the interests of defense, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
b. for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion.


24.

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of this section, no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (6), (7) and (8) of this section, no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(3) 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, color or creed 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 which are not accorded to persons of another such description.


First Schedule: OATHS

Oath of Allegiance

I _______, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law. So help me God.


Oath for the due execution of the office of Governor-General.

I _______, do swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, in the office of Governor-General. So help me God.


Oath for the due execution of the office of Prime Minister or other Minister or Parliamentary Secretary.

I _______, being appointed Prime Minister/Minister/Parliamentary Secretary, do swear that I will to the best of my judgment, at all times when so required, freely give my counsel and advice to the Governor-General (or any other person for the time being lawfully performing the functions of that office) for the good management of the public affairs of Jamaica, and I do further swear that I will not on any account, at any time whatsoever, disclose the counsel, advice, opinion or vote of any particular Minister or Parliamentary Secretary and that I will not, except with the authority of the Cabinet and to such extent as may be required for the good management of the affairs of Jamaica, directly or indirectly reveal the business or proceedings of the Cabinet or the nature or contents of any documents communicated to me as a Minister/Parliamentary Secretary or any matter coming to my knowledge in my capacity as such and that in all things I will be a true and faithful Prime Minister/Minister/Parliamentary Secretary. So help me God.


Judicial Oath.

I _______, do swear that I will well and truly serve Our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, in the office of _______ and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of Jamaica without fear or favor, affection or ill will. So help me God.



[Note: The constitutional text hosted by the Political Database of the Americas is reproduced from official government sources.]

Sources

1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.