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Criminalisation of homosexuality declared unconstitutional.

By a judgment handed down on 10 August 2016 the Chief Justice of Belize held that provisions in the Belize Criminal Code purporting to criminalise private consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex breached the Constitution of Belize and so should be declared void. In doing so the Chief Justice upheld the claim brought by the Belizean activist Caleb Orozco against the Government of Belize. The Chief Justice held that laws purporting to criminalise private homosexual conduct breached the rights to dignity, privacy, equality and non-discrimination enshrined in the Belize Constitution and so were void. Mr Orozco’s arguments were supported by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, The Human Dignity Trust and the International Commission of Jurists (the Interveners).

The decision of the Chief Justice represented the first occasion on which any Caribbean Court had determined such a constitutional challenge. 

Timothy Otty QC and Tristan Jones were part of the legal team acting for the Interveners and led by the Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith QC and Godfrey Smith SC (the former Attorney General of Belize).

Further details in respect of the case can be found here