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Botswana High Court sets hearing date on constitutionality of offences which criminalise consensual same-sex sexual activities

By 1 November 2017September 26th, 2023Botswana, Equality Rights, Equality Rights LGBTIQ+, Equality Rights News2 min read

On 1 November 2017, Judge Leburu of the High Court of Botswana, ordered that the hearing challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167 of the Penal Code be heard on 22 March 2018. He also ordered that the organisation Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) be admitted as amicus curiae in the proceedings.

LEGABIBO is a human rights organisation and seeks to promote and advance the interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in Botswana. The organisation is concerned with human rights, public health issues, such as HIV, and seeks to enable members of the community to protect themselves and others from violations of human rights.

Previously in Attorney General v Rammoge (“Rammoge”) the Court of Appeal ordered that LEGABIBO be registered as a Society in terms of the Societies Act of Botswana. In Rammoge the Court of Appeal held that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons are entitled to protection of their constitutional rights and that it is not a crime to be gay in Botswana. LEGABIBO seeks to advance submissions in the High Court on the practical effect that sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167 of the Penal Code has on the lives of LGBT persons, including how it limits their ability to access basic services and infringes on their human dignity.

LEGABIBO is represented by Tshiamo Rantao and supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC).

Issued by: LEGABIBO & SALC

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