botswana: challenging refusal to register lgbt organisation

dsc_0133In March 2013, twenty individuals filed a case before the High Court of Botswana, asking the court to review the decision by the Director of Civil and National Registration and the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs to refuse to register the organisation, Lesbians, Gays and Bi-sexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO). The case was supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

Once registered, LEGABIBO aims to provide an opportunity for lesbians, gays and bisexuals to form part of an association which will provide them with information on human rights and advocate for their rights, particularly the right to access health services.

The matter was heard in the Gaborone High Court on 18 March 2014 and judgment was delivered in favour of the Applicants on 14 November 2014. In December 2014, the Attorney General appealed the decision. The appeal was heard on 15 January 2016. On 16 March 2016, in a groundbreaking judgment, the Court of Appeal, per Justice Kirby, held that the decision to refuse registration was irrational and unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal held that the right to freedom of association was violated. The Court of Appeal emphasised that constitutional rights apply to ‘every person’ and that to deny this, is to deny a person’s human dignity. The Court held that there is no law which prohibits a person from being homosexual or for advocating for law reform.

Summary of Court of Appeal judgment

High Court

Fact sheet on case

High Court judgment

Court of Appeal

Notice and grounds of appeal by State

Respondents’ Heads of Argument 

Court of Appeal judgment

 

 

Blog Posts

[Research Report] Accountability and Redress for Discrimination in Healthcare in Botswana, Malawi and Zambia

Southern Africa bears a disproportionate burden of HIV globally and indications are that stigma and discrimination » Read More

Significant progress as Botswana Court of Appeal recognises the rights of LGBT persons

On 16 March 2016, the Botswana Court of Appeal, unanimously, delivered a landmark judgment in » Read More

Reaching for Zero Discrimination in Healthcare

          1 March is Zero Discrimination Day, a day to celebrate » Read More

News Stories

NEWS RELEASE: VICTORY FOR HIV-POSITIVE FOREIGN PRISONERS IN BOTSWANA COURT OF APPEAL

Gaborone–On Wednesday, 26 August 2015, the Botswana Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against a » Read More

NEWS RELEASE: BOTSWANA GOVERNMENT MUST PROVIDE HIV TREATMENT TO FOREIGN PRISONERS, SAYS HIGH COURT

Gaborone–Today, the Botswana High Court ordered the government to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to HIV-positive, » Read More

NEWS RELEASE: BOTSWANA GOVERNMENT ORDERED TO PROVIDE HIV TREATMENT TO NON-CITIZEN PRISONERS

Gaborone, 18 March – In another important legal victory for human rights in Botswana, the » Read More