Criminalising Homosexuality and the Rule of Law

This briefing note looks at the criminalising of homosexuality through the prism of the rule of law, suggesting that the criminalisation of consensual same- sex intimacy offends against the Rule of Law. From a procedural point of view, criminalisation means that rights granted to all citizens in national constitutions, domestic laws and via international treaty obligations are being dis-applied to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) minority. From a substantive point of view, criminalisation is inconsistent with the human rights that should be present in a well-functioning domestic system.