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Criminal laws targeting LGBT struck down

Criminal laws targeting LGBT struck down

The Delhi High Court has struck down provisions which criminalised sexual conduct by persons of the same sex.In its decision in Naz Foundation (India) Trust v. Government of NCT Delhi and…

The Delhi High Court has struck down provisions which criminalised sexual conduct by persons of the same sex.

In its decision in Naz Foundation (India) Trust v. Government of NCT Delhi and Others, the Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian penal code which criminalised adult, private, sexual conduct by persons of the same sex.

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) - an organisation established to promote an independent legal profession and the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth - has released a statement welcoming the decision.

At the CLA Commonwealth Law Conference held in Hong Kong in April, former Australian High Court Justice Michael Kirby noted that 41 of the 53 Commonwealth jurisdictions have retained laws providing criminal punishment of adult, private, consensual sexual conduct by persons of the same sex, despite the fact that they were repealed by the UK - from which they were originally introduced into the Commonwealth - more than 40 years ago.

In its statement, the CLA called on the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to establish a working group to consider the issue and report back to the CLA before the next Commonwealth Law Conference to be held in India in 2011.

"It is the CLA's firm belief that broad and consistent dialogue on the issues is essential to realise the Commonwealth's commitment to universal human rights for all Commonwealth citizens," the statement read.

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