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Oct 29, 2018

…Court of Appeal Reserves Decision

Nigel Hawke

After the hearing concluded late this evening, Solicitor General Nigel Hawke spoke to the media, explaining that there are fundamental and public issues present in the case that should be left for parliamentarians to decide. Hawke was specifically speaking on the definition of sex and the Chief Justice decision to expand the meaning to include sexual orientation.


Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General

“We are saying there are certain constitutional prescriptions, separation of powers being a fundamental one. Even the courts have to be careful that it does not overstep its boundaries in relation to interpreting the constitution. That was one of our first points. The other point was that the ruling also tied the incorporation of the international covenant on civil and political rights where the court ruled that there was a tacit acceptance of it. We are saying that it flies in the face of what the CCJ had said in Boyce that these things should be incorporated in our domestic law and those things are left to parliament. Those were our fundamental arguments. We listed authorities to the effect that the courts are saying that courts ought to be careful that they don’t legislate really. The last point was in relation to section twelve of the constitution where we are saying that we don’t think it was properly developed fundamentally. The academic point that they have advanced, the court has not ruled on it. Even the court came back and said they have not quite arrived at a decision. Our position is simple, this is a public issue. Testament to the fact that this is a fundamental and important issue, look how long the arguments took; took us into the evening. I am saying that there are fundamental issues here that the court has to grapple with. There are several things going back and forth and these are public issues. One of the fundamental issues which we say, is this a matter for the court to decide or for the legislature. That is a fundamental public issue. We all know that the public in Belize has issues with the definition of sex as against sexual orientation. We say that those things should be properly left to the elected representatives.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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