High Court dismisses challenge to the Gender Recognition Act 2004

27 Feb 2015

Mrs Justice Thirlwall has today handed down judgment in a case in which a transsexual person applied for a declaration that the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (“GRA”) was incompatible with Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The GRA was, of course, the very Act that was implemented in order to ensure convention-compliant treatment of transsexual persons in the UK. More particularly, the applicant, who had undergone gender reassignment surgery, contended that the additional evidential burden faced by those seeking the grant of a gender recognition certificate further to such treatment were unnecessary, humiliating and disproportionate. The applicant pointed to the fact that a gender recognition certificate could be obtained simply by demonstrating that, amongst other things, he or she had lived in the acquired gender for two years. The Court rejected the argument that there were any additional evidential hurdles or that Article 8, whether on its own or in conjunction with Article 14, was interfered with by the requirements imposed by s.3 of the Act. The Court did, however, find that being a post-operative transsexual person did constitute an “other status” for the purposes of Article 14.

Please click to view the judgment in Carpenter v Secretary of State for Justice

Brendan McGurk acted on behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice