Belize: A Constitutional Challenge to the Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality in Belize
The Trust is involved in proceedings brought in Belize by Mr Caleb Orozco. At a regional consultation convened by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) in Montego Bay, Jamaica 28 August 2011 under the PANCAP Global Fund Project, leaders from more than 20 Caribbean organisations representing the LGBT community and other human rights entities unanimously voted to support their Belizean counterparts in the legal challenge.
The Trust is appearing as an interested party in the proceedings, along with the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (“CLA”) and the International Commission of Jurists (“ICJ”) and is providing submissions focusing on international and comparative law. Each organisation is appearing as an interested party with the consent of Mr Orozco, UNIBAM, and their legal representatives. The Trust, the CLA and the ICJ are represented pro bono by Godfrey Smith, the former Attorney General of Belize, Lord Goldsmith QC, as well as Lord Goldsmith’s firm and one of the Human Dignity Trust’s legal panel members, Debevoise Plimpton LLP, Tim Otty QC (Chairman of the Trust) and Allison Jernow (Senior Legal Advisor at ICJ).
Northern Cyprus: Petition before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
The Trust has lodged a case before the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of an anonymous applicant supported by the local LGBTI organisation, Queer Cyprus (formerlyHomofobiye Karsi Inisiyatif (Initiative Against Homophobia)). The Trust is working with a Northern Cypriot lawyer, Oncel Polili, and is supported by Taylor Wessing from our Legal Panel. Nigel Pleming QC (39 Essex Street) and Tom Mountford (Blackstone Chambers) are counsel. Jonathan Cooper, the Human Dignity Trust's chief executive, was interviewed about this case on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Monday, 6th February. Read press release here
The Trust has lodged a petition on behalf of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) and Mr Gareth Henry (a founder member of J-FLAG) before the IACHR in order to seek (without limitation) a declaration from the Commission to the effect that the maintenance and enforcement of certain laws by Jamaica in relation to private consensual sexual conduct by adult males breach Jamaica’s obligations under international law, and specifically under the American Convention on Human Rights and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, and that Jamaica has otherwise failed in its duty to protect the rights and well-being of its homosexual citizens, in violation of those obligations.
The Trust is providing support to the petitioners. Edward Fitzgerald QC and Douglas Mendes SC are counsel. Litigation support is being provided by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, a member of the Trust’s legal panel.