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Unanimous decision led to dismissal of Appeal ‘cross dressing’ case

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By Mark Murray

The Court of Appeal today (Monday, February 27, 2017) ruled that the “cross-dressing” case be dismissed, upholding that cross-dressing is allowed, once not done for improper purposes.

Monday’s decision was handed down by Acting Chancellor Justice Carl Singh, acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and High Court Justice Brassington Reynolds.

Justice Singh said it was a unanimous decision that the appeal case is dismissed and the previous ruling be upheld.

The appeal was filed by several members of the transgender community who were seeking clarification on a previous ruling by former Chief Justice Ian Chang on cross-dressing being used for “improper purpose.”

However, the Acting Chancellor explained that it is not for the court to lay down a definition of a broad term which parliament has chosen not to define.

Lead Counsel for the plaintiff, Arif Bulkan after the hearing told the local press that the court’s decision is somewhat disappointing.

According to him, it is not the end since while the Appeal Court is the last decision-making body of the land, it is likely that the matter could be taken to the Caribbean Court of Justice if the client so desires.

Bulkan further added that members of the transgender community continues to be refused access to the local Courts by some magistrates which he feels is because there is no clarification on what is “improper purpose.”

This matter dates back to seven years ago after some members of the transgender community were arrested and convicted for being male and dressed in female attire in public for what the authorizes felt was considered improper purpose.

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