15 June 2020, Port Louis, Mauritius

For immediate release: Young LGBT activists seek to establish equality and freedom under the law for LGBT persons at the Supreme Court of Mauritius to challenge the constitutionality of Section 250

On the 06 September 2019, four young Mauritians, who come from all parts of Mauritian society approached the Supreme Court of Mauritius for leave to seek constitutional redress for a declaration that Section 250 of the Mauritian Criminal Code Act of 1838 (as amended) violates their fundamental rights and freedoms and is unconstitutional.

The Defendant is the State of Mauritius represented by the Attorney General of the Republic of Mauritius whereas the Co-Defendants are: (1) the Director of Public Prosecutions (Co-defendant no. 1) and (2) the Commissioner of Police (Co-Defendant no. 2).

The leave application was heard on the 12 June 2020 before two Puisne Judges of the Supreme Court, His Lordship Justice B. Marie-Joseph and Her Ladyship Justice J. Motou-Leckning. After hearing the parties, the Supreme Court has granted the application for leave for the Plaintiffs to lodge their case for constitutional redress.

The Plaintiffs are contending in their plaint for constitutional redress that Section 250 does not have its place in modern and democratic Mauritius in that:

  • LGBT people, like all other citizens, should have the fundamental rights to choice of sexual partner, privacy, dignity, protection of the law and equality.
  • Section 250 is contrary to the values of democracy and treats LGBT people as second-class citizens.
  • Mauritians believe in an equal society free from discrimination, and the continued existence of Section 250 brings about discrimination, inequality, stigma, and persecution of LGBT people.

The Plaintiffs, who come from Hindu, Christian and Muslim backgrounds, are all members of the Young Queer Alliance, a youth-led NGO advocating for the respect of equal human rights for LGBT people in Mauritius.

The Plaintiffs are legally represented before the Supreme Court on a pro-bono basis by Dentons (Mauritius) LLP, part of the world’s largest law firm, Dentons LLP, and by the Barristers of the Franco-Mauritian Law Chambers LCMB et Associés, based in Paris and Mauritius. Plaintiffs are also supported by the Young Queer Alliance and the Love Honor Cherish Foundation.

For more information on the legal action, contact:

Dentons (Mauritius) LLP: (+230) 212 1150 | Young Queer Alliance: yqa.mauritius@gmail.com

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