Barbados Supreme Court Strikes Down Buggery Laws

Barbados Supreme Court Strikes Down Buggery Laws

The Supreme Court yesterday delivered a ruling that effectively strikes down the law making the act of buggery a criminal offence in Barbados.

Meantime, government officials have sought to make it clear that the administration had no hand in the matter.

This follows the publication of articles overseas declaring the Republic of Barbados has repealed the buggery and gross indecency laws.

In a statement this afternoon, Attorney General Dale Marshall said he he’s aware of a decision given yesterday by Madame Justice Weekes in the claim of Rene Holder-McClean Ramirez and others, which struck down sections of the Sexual Offences Act.

He added that the sections which the judge found to be at odds with the protections enshrined by the Constitution relate to section 9, which creates the offense of buggery; and section 12 which deals with serious indecency.

According to the attorney general, the effect of this is that charges for these offences cannot be maintained against any person.

He stated –quote- “In short, we can no longer prosecute persons under these two sections.”

Mr. Marshall says he’s not surprised at the ruling in relation to section 9, since there is now a vast amount of jurisprudence within the Caribbean and beyond, which has struck down the offence of buggery for being unconstitutional.

But he has concerns in relation to the striking down of the offences in relation to minors.

Meantime, in relation to the articles circulating, another official stressed that government did not legalize anything, did not change the law but the court had handed down a ruling.

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