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Jun 10, 2016

Why is UNIBAM Challenge Still Unresolved?

Caleb Orosco

While the CCJ handed down an unduly delayed judgment today, a little over a year after submissions had been filed, the Supreme Court of Belize is yet to come to a decision on a constitutional challenge to Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code.  That particular aspect of the Laws of Belize speaks to the penalization of persons who engage in carnal knowledge against the order of nature.  The claim against the Government of Belize was filed by UNIBAM’s Executive Director Caleb Orozco and commenced in May 2013.  Since then a decision to be pronounced by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has been pending.  Orozco’s attorney, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, summarized Tomlinson’s case and offered brief comment on the forthcoming Supreme Court ruling.

 

Lisa Shoman, Attorney for Caleb Orozco

“In my view, this was a ruling that really goes to a technical basis which is that there is no actual denial of his rights and therefore he didn’t make out what he applied for that’s why the application was dismissed.  You will note that the court did not penalize him in cost because, as I say, this is a critical and important point of law that has to be aired.”

 

Lisa Shoman

Reporter

“Ma’am do you have any comments or any opinions to share on what appears to be the undue delay in the delivery of judgment for Mister Caleb Orozco?  The CCJ was of the opinion that they needed to apologize for what they believe was an undue delay in this matter.”

 

Lisa Shoman

“I noted that.  I think it is important to state that the Orozco case has now been awaiting a decision for three years and that it is critical to get that decision because as the maxim goes, justice delayed is justice denied.  So we are anxiously awaiting that decision and looking forward to the day when we too can sit in court and hear the ruling of the Chief Justice on that matter.”

 

To date there has been no schedule for the delivery of a decision in the Section Fifty-Three challenge.

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