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9 Oct 2013

Singapore: Tan Eng Hong applies to have both ongoing s377A cases consolidated

Just in: The Court of Appeal has accepted Tan Eng Hong's application to have the two cases consolidated. More details to come. 

Latest update (Oct 10, 2013): The Court of Appeal has accepted Tan Eng Hong's application to have his, and Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee's cases consolidated. More details to come.


The Court of Appeal will convene on an urgent basis on Thursday to allow Tan Eng Hong's appeal to be jointly heard together with Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee's case, both of which challenge the constitutionality of Singapore's anti-gay sex law.

Tan Eng Hong, who first filed his constitutional challenge to section 377A on 24 September 2010, has made an application to the Court of Appeal to convene on an urgent basis tomorrow to allow his appeal to be jointly heard together with a parallel case filed by a gay couple, Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee. Both cases challenge the constitutionality of section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code which criminalises sex between men.

Tan Eng Hong is represented by M Ravi (above).

The application is to be heard on Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 11.30 am in the Court of Appeal, according to a statement sent to Fridae by Tan's lawyer, M Ravi, on Wednesday evening.

Earlier this month, Singapore High court Justice Quentin Loh upheld the law in in Tan's appeal case. In a 54-page judgment, Justice Loh has "found that the statute has not infringed the rights of the plaintiff, Tan Eng Hong, and is not inconsistent with Articles 9 and 12 of the Constitution of Singapore, which ensures that one will not be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law and that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law, respectively."

When asked, M Ravi clarified that the application to have the two cases consolidated by the court is separate from the application he filed in August for Tan to be recognised as an interested party in Lim and Chee's upcoming Court of Appeal hearing which is scheduled on Monday, October 14. The application was later withdrawn after Lim and Chee opposed the move.

Tan is seeking to have his appeal against Judge Loh's ruling be heard on Monday alongside Lim and Chee's appeal or have both appeals heard on a later date, R Ravi told Fridae. 

Lim and Chee filed their appeal in April this year after Judge Loh dismissed their legal challenge on April 10, 2013.

M Ravi explained that his client's application to have the two cases consolidated are "essentially for the beneficial effect of preventing a multiplicity of actions and preventing the same questions of law and constitutional issues from being tried on separate occasions with potentially different results."

The application to consolidate the appeals is also "borne out of concern for Tan Eng Hong's right to a fair hearing and due process as he has been challenging the constitutionality of section 377A of the Penal Code since 2010."

Tan's application further highlighted that unlike Lim and Chee, Tan was arrested, charged and detained under section 377A for performing oral sex on another man in a shopping center toilet.

M Ravi added that should judgment be issued in Lim and Chee's case before the his client's appeal is heard, his client "may be deprived of or have abbreviated his opportunity to vindicate his rights through access to the entire appellate process."

Singapore

Reader's Comments

1. 2013-10-10 13:35  
Latest at 11:30AM from the Court of Appeal public gallery :

Court of Appeal vacates Kenneth & Gary's appeal to next year pending a decision on Tan Eng Hong's application for consolidation. According to observers who attended this morning's hearing, the Court of Appeal observed that the AG had challenged Kenneth & Gary's standing because they were not actually prosecuted under s377A and, if the AG succeeds, their appeal could be dismissed on that ground alone without having to hear the main substantive arguments. This means that Tan Eng Hong has a greater opportunity to succeed in this challenge because Tan has a bona fide standing in light of the fact that he had actually been prosecuted under s377A.

Tan Eng Hong's s377A challenge has, therefore, become the beacon of hope for all gay men in Singapore because it does not have an issue with locus standi (i.e. legal standing) unlike the Kenneth & Gary appeal. This means that the success of Tan Eng Hong's s377A challenge is now even more crucial for gay men in Singapore as regards the issue of the decriminalisation of consensual sex between adult males.
Comment #2 was deleted by its author on 2013-10-10 20:36
3. 2013-10-10 20:34  
gay also should able to forgive justice if justice having darkness side.
we are human that not perfect, should forgive each other.
justice is human too

and gay should not angry to justice, mean justice want to hear what is the truth beyond their knowledge.
this is life to hold each other.

that is gay contribution to the world,
to give brightness to people and kick out all lie or darkness.
gay just walk straight to the light with honesty /trust
that is difference between gay and straight
yes..gay also fall sometimes, that have to learned to wake up again manytimes.but always see light


hollybooks are not solely truth
because God will always created something new
hollybooks are not the last but God.
that why we should not always obey what hollybook written to indicate that Hollybooks are not God, And God can not be reproduced like books in many copies
there is only one God that always original and dynamic

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