Like most of the British Commonwealth, the final court of appeal in Jamaica and the Caribbean is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which sits in Englandt. Decisions of the Court of Appeal in Jamaica can be appealed to the Privy Council. The Privy Council's jurisdiction extends to most of the British Caribbean. Lord Falconer of Thoroton is the Lord Chancellor of the Privy Council.
In 1993 the Privy Council held in Pratt & Morgan v. the Attorney General of Jamaica, that it was "inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment" contrary to section 17 of the Jamaican Constitution to carry out a sentence for execution after a defendant had waited for five years or more for this execution and commuted the appellant's death sentence to a life sentence. This decision and other political facts led to an increased desire in the Caribbean for final appellate jurisdiction to vest in a regional Caribbean Court of Justice which was finally formed in 2001. In the 2005 decision Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights (1998) Ltd. & others v. Syringa Marshall Burnett and the Attorney General of Jamaica, the Privy Council Board held that the Caribbean Court of Justice Act passed in Jamaica in 2004 and the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdication) (Amendment) Act 2004 which sought to eliminate the Privy Council as the final court of appeal in Jamaica were both void for unconstitutionality.
In its most recent decision on media law in Jamaica, Abrahams v. The Gleaner Co. & Dudley Stokes, the Privy Council upheld the Court of Appeal award of J$35 million in a libel action brought by an ex-minister of government against the Gleaner Jamaica's foremost media. An application to have this decision reviewed for its consistency with the American Convention on Human Rights to which Jamaica is a signatory, has been upheld by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The American Convention protects freedom of thought and expression at article 13. The case will be reviewed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.