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Will Section 53 Appeal be withdrawn?

While the Roman Catholic Church was appealing the judgment in its entirety, the Attorney General is partially appealing the ruling. This morning President of the Court of Appeal, Manuel Sosa, told the Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke that with the church out of the picture, it is difficult to see this matter going further.

Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General

“When the court invited me to look at certain circumstances but as you know I’m a law officer of the crown so I had to take instructions on the intonation from the court so we will see how that goes. They’ve also indicated that they will write to us on the issue. The substantive decision stands because our appeal is, as we’ve always said, is a limited appeal so the substantive decision stands..”

According to Attorney Lisa Shoman, they will now contact the office of the Attorney General to see if they will still continue their appeal.

Lisa Shoman, Attorney for Caleb Orozco

“What the President of the Court of Appeal was communicating to the Solicitor General is that the state should consider very carefully it’s options as to whether it wishes to proceed because in the words of the president one of the principal participants had now left the stage and that it was virtually the view of the court that the state stands alone. So that in this appeal the state should consider what its options are. If we are to go to trial it will be in June but in the meantime instructed by Mr.Orozco I’ve given an undertaking that we are going to communicate with the AG and the SolGen formally whether they wish to now withdraw what we think is largely an academic appeal. Courts do not deal with academic matters, there must be a real live issue and we believe that the issue of arguing over whether sex includes sexual orientation is a little bit like getting angels to dance on a pin. Really it’s an academic discussion, we think that there are far graver issues facing our society at present, the court has a full docket. The court has an obligation to manage its scarce resources as best it can and we really think this is one in which usefully the Attorney General might wish to consider their options as to whether they continue or not.”

Orozco says that since it is an academic appeal, the office of the Attorney General has the option to discontinue its challenge.

Caleb Orozco, UNIBAM

“For me what the court demonstrated was that they could see that it is an academic exercise and that the AG’s office has the option to not waste the resources of Government or the Court in terms of responding to the whole decision or the whole discussion constructively. More importantly when the Catholic Church decided to withdraw it finally reflected the values of compassion, service and impacting the lives of people in a way that cannot be described only felt. It is clear to me that the Catholic Church or in this case the Catholic Bishop is a man that is reflective of the need to look at the dignity of an individual rather than advance positions which advances violence and discrimination. As such I am most appreciative of his response, what’s left now is the work of investing and educating our people that rights matter, that it’s their responsibility to come to the court for redress when those rights are being violated.”

The matter is to go to trial in June 2018.