Trinidad and Tobago Court Overturns Anti-Gay Laws
London – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that its pro bono client, Trinidad-born, UK-based LGBT activist Jason Jones, has been successful in his historic human rights constitutional challenge against the Attorney General and Government of Trinidad & Tobago (“T&T”), to remove sections 13 & 16 of the Sexual Offences Act criminalising adult consensual same sex relationships. Mr. Jones’ legal team also includes Richard Drabble QC (Landmark Chambers) and Peter Laverack (5 Essex Court), and T&T attorneys Rishi P.A. Dass and Antonio Emmanuel.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Devindra Rampersad stated in his judgment of 12 April: “The court declares that sections 13 and 16 of the Act are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void, invalid and are of no effect to the extent that these laws criminalise any acts constituting consensual sexual conduct between adults”.
The highest court of Appeal in T&T is the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, and as such the proceedings will have an effect not only in T&T but potentially also much wider global reach among those former British colonies, as well as considerable moral force world-wide.
Jason Jones said: “I grew up in Port of Spain and faced almost daily homophobic bullying and threats of violence because I am gay. My family made me homeless and I have been lucky enough to be able to rebuild my life in the United Kingdom ... I have the opportunity now to help my fellow LGBT Trinbagonian citizens find an equal place in Trinidad & Tobago.”
Jason Jones media release
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