Court annuls Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014

By hrapf
In August 1, 2014
On Blog

The constitutional court has ruled that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 was passed illegally by Parliament. This was in a petition filed by Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum and others challenging the constitutionality of the Act. One of the grounds raised by the petitioners was the fact that there was lack of quorum in parliament the day the bill was passed into an Act.

The Attorney General did not deny the allegation but insisted that the petitioners had to adduce empirical evidence showing that there was a lack of quorum. The evidence adduced by the petitioners included an affidavit by Hon. Fox Odoi, one of the petitioners and a member of the 9th parliament and copies of hansards showing the proceedings of parliament the day the Act was passed.

The State Attorneys insisted that that was not sufficient evidence and that the petitioners needed to adduce more evidence. In their judgment, the constitutional court emphasized the fact that it is the duty of the petitioners to adduce evidence to prove their allegations. They however pointed out that there is an exception to this rule and this is when the respondent does not expressly deny the allegations. They noted that in this case, the Attorney General did not deny the allegation that there was no quorum.

The court also noted that this was a civil case where the standard of proof was a balance of probabilities and the evidence of Hon. Fox Odoi’s affidavit and the hansards were enough to prove lack of quorum in parliament. It noted that the Speaker has a constitutional duty to observe quorum and in this case, she was prompted thrice on the issue of quorum which she ignored. They therefore held that on the evidence adduced, and the failure for the Attorney General to specifically deny the allegations, the Act was passed without quorum and is therefore null and void.

HRAPF appreciates all stakeholders in the struggle. We thank all the petitioners, the lawyers, staff and all partners for the support in the struggle to get us this far.


Leave A Comment