penal code

Botswana's highest court upholds decriminalisation of gay sex, AG undertakes to implement this decision

Botswana’s apex court has upheld a high court decision decriminalising gay sex. And the country’s attorney general has issued a special media release on the subject, saying that Botswana has an impressive post-independence record of observing human rights and the rule of law. Against this background, the government will ensure the new decision in the court of appeal’s judgment is implemented.

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Five judges of Botswana’s highest court have rejected an appeal by the country’s attorney general that challenged a high court decision decriminalising gay sex.

Don't view sexual offences only through traditional male perspective - Chief Justice

In one of her last decisions before ending a five-year contract as head of the judiciary in Seychelles, Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey came out strongly on the need for the country’s penal code to be modernised in relation to its definition of consent in sexual offences. The CJ said that at present it only defined ‘absence of consent’, and that it was time ‘to look beyond the traditional male perspective as the prism through which sexual offences must necessarily be viewed.’

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In one of her final decisions as head of the judiciary in Seychelles, Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey has shown herself a strong supporter of the rights of women in cases that concern sexual assault, urging that changes be made in the penal code and that ‘myths’ about the ‘normal reaction’ of someone who had been raped be consigned ‘to the dustbin of the history of male perspective myths about rape victims.’

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