AG Moves to Strike Out Public Defender Appeal in Buggery Law Case

Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo-Forte has filed an application seeking to strike out an appeal made by Public Defender, Arlene Harrison Henry, to have her named as an interested party in the Maurice Tomlinson buggery suit.

The Public Defender made the application last month challenging a Supreme Court ruling barring her from joining as an interested party in the case.

The Attorney General is arguing that the Public Defender did not follow established procedure in filing her appeal.

Gay rights activist and attorney-at-law, Maurice Tomlinson filed the suit last year.

In his constitutional motion against the Attorney General, he’s seeking to have the buggery law nullified in relation to consensual sex between men.

He claims that criminalising anal sex amounts to a denial of equality before the law for gay men.

The Public Defender sought to join the case claiming her office was created for the purpose of protecting and enforcing the rights of all citizens.

That application was denied by the Supreme Court.

The Court said the Public Defender was attempting to insert herself in a nationally divisive issue and could lose the confidence of many Jamaicans if allowed to do so.

It also ruled that her neutrality would also make her contribution of little assistance.

Last month lawyers representing the Public Defender filed a motion appealing the decision.

The appeal dated the 13th of July says the learned judge acted unreasonably by denying the applicant’s request.

But the Attorney General is moving to have that appeal struck out.

Lawyers representing the AG’s Department filed a motion arguing that the rules of the Court of Appeal require an applicant to first seek permission in writing when filing an appeal.

They argue that since this was not done there’s no proper appeal before the court.

The AG is also arguing that the notice of appeal filed by the Public Defender on July 13 is not valid and should be struck out.