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n South African Journal on Human Rights - An opportunity missed for gay rights in Botswana : : notes and comments

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-7203
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Abstract

In 1995, two men were charged with engaging in unnatural acts and indecent practices between males in terms of ss 164 and 167 of the Botswana Penal Code. However it was not until July 2003 that the Court of Appeal of Botswana handed down a decision in which it held that the provisions of the Penal Code under which they were charged did not violate the Constitution. This case enjoyed extensive media coverage for reasons which are not necessarily germane to this paper. For the writer however, the case was of utmost importance for three reasons. Firstly, it presented an opportunity for the courts of Botswana to critically examine and authoritatively lay down the exact contours of the right to equality and non-discrimination in Botswana. Secondly, it presented an opportunity for the courts of Botswana to draw on foreign jurisprudence in interpreting this fundamental right. Lastly, it presented an opportunity for the courts of Botswana to make an authoritative ruling on the rights of homosexuals in Botswana. The aim of this note is to critically evaluate and comment on the decisions of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

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/content/ju_sajhr/20/3/EJC53153
2004-01-01
2016-12-09

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