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Anti-Gay Bill: Supreme Court to decide on interlocutory injunctions July 17

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The Supreme Court has set July 17, 2024, to deliver the ruling for the two lawsuits filed by Broadcast Journalist, Richard Dela Sky, and Researcher, Dr Amanda Odoi against Parliament’s passage of the controversial anti-gay bill.

Mr Sky is challenging the constitutionality of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, and he is seeking a declaration that the bill passed by Parliament breaches several provisions of the 1992 constitution and violates the country’s laws and the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Dr Odoi has raised concerns about specific provisions in the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.

She is also seeking a restraining order to prevent the Speaker, the Attorney General, and the Clerk of Parliament from sending the bill to President Akufo-Addo for his approval.

The Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkornoo, announced to the court that the two cases would not be consolidated, and separate rulings would be delivered

This decision followed a request by the Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame

Counsel for Amanda Odoi, Dr Ernest Ackon, argued that the bill, if approved, imposes a direct charge on public funds, violating Article 108. He also pointed out the lack of a fiscal impact analysis before the bill was sent to the President.

The Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, the second respondent, argued that the Speaker’s discretion is not unconstrained by the constitution, hence warranting the apex court’s decision on the injunction application

Plaintiff Dr. Amanda Odoi seeks an injunction to stop the Speaker from transmitting the bill to the President.

The first Defendant on the case led by Counsel for the Speaker of Parliament Thaddeus Sory on his part, argued that the claims of the applicant regarding the need for a fiscal impact analysis were not supported by the constitution especially when the bill did not expressly say it will impose a charge on the consolidated fund.

According to him, the substance of the interlocutory injunction was not significantly different from a previous one filed by the plaintiffs and dismissed by the courts

He further argued that the transmission of the bill from the Speaker of Parliament to the President for him to assent is still an ongoing process that hasn’t been completed and, hence wasn’t within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to deliberate on the matter.

He called on the court to dismiss the application before the bench.

The Supreme Court, chaired by Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkonoo, is currently hearing the Richard Dela Sky case.

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