Tomlinson takes case against Belize to CCJ

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has reserved its decision in the case case of Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican homosexual activist, who is suing Belize and Trinidad and Tobago over his right to free movement.

Tomlinson, who contends that his right to free movement is being violated under the Treaty of Chaguaramas which establishes CARICOM, took his case to the CCJ on Tuesday and Wednesday in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Belize’s Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin took the stand to testify about Belize’s application of Section 5 of the Immigration Act which Tomlinson is challenging.

Marin testified that Belize has no policy specifically banning homosexuals from entry into into the country and said in regards to the language of the law it is a reference to sex workers who would need separate employment permits which are governed by other sections of the Act.
Tomlinson, an attorney himself, then took the stand to make his case for why he thinks the laws in both elize and Trinidad need to be changed.

According to Tomlinson, while neither country enforces the relevant section of the law, that fact does not presuppose future enforcement which would break the guarantee to the right of free movement within CARICOM for him and other LGBT persons.
The case was heard by a panel of judges and judgment has been reserved for a later date.

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