Transgender rights in Ireland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Transgender rights in the Republic of Ireland have evolved dramatically over time.

Gender recognition[edit]

In the Republic of Ireland, it was not possible for a transgender person to alter their birth certificate until 2015. Lydia Foy took a case in the High Court in 2002 that was turned down, as a birth certificate was deemed to be a historical document.[1]

Foy took new proceedings to the High Court relying on the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in the Goodwin and "I" cases. Her application was heard between 17 and 26 April 2007, and judgment was reserved. Judgment was given in the High Court on 19 October 2007. The Judge held that the Irish State had failed to respect Foy's rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by not providing any mechanism for her to obtain a new birth certificate in her female gender. He indicated that he would grant a declaration that Irish law in this area was incompatible with the Convention. He also said he would have found her right to marry under Article 12 of the Convention had been infringed as well if that had been relevant. On 14 February 2008, the Judge granted a declaration that sections of the Civil Registration Act 2004 were incompatible with Article 8 of the Convention. This was the first declaration of incompatibility made under the European Convention on Human Rights Act passed in 2003.[2]

The government appealed this decision, but dropped its appeal in June 2010 and set up an advisory group of civil servants to make recommendations for new legislation. The advisory group's report was published in July 2011,[3] but there was controversy over some of its recommendations, notably that married transgender persons would have to divorce before they could be recognised in their new gender. At the launch of the report the Minister responsible stated that the Government would introduce gender recognition legislation as soon as possible.[4] No legislation had been introduced by February 2013, so Foy issued new proceedings in the High Court seeking a declaration that the State was obliged to issue her with a new birth certificate in her female gender, or that the State was in breach of the Irish Constitution or the European Convention on Human Rights because it had failed to provide her with an effective remedy for the violation of her rights .[5]

On July 15, 2015, Ireland passed the Gender Recognition Act of 2015 that allows legal gender changes without the requirement of medical intervention or assessment by the state.[6] Such change is possible through self-determination for any person aged 18 or over ordinarily resident in Ireland and/or registered on Irish registers of birth or adoption. Persons aged 16 to 18 years must secure a court order to exempt them from the normal requirement to be at least 18.[7] Ireland is one of four legal jurisdictions in the world where people may legally change gender through self-determination.[8]

By May 2017, 230 people had been granted gender recognition certificates under the 2015 law.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dr Lydia Foy's Case". Transgender Equality Network Ireland. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Foy v. An t-Ard Chlaraitheoir & Others 2007 IEHC 470" ( 19 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Report of the Gender Recognition Advisory Group" <>. Department of Social Protection. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Gender recognition legislation move 'a step along the way'" <>. Irish Examiner. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Transgender woman to sue over birth certificate delay" <>. The Irish Times. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013. "Dentist in new gender legal bid" (http:/ Irish Examiner. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  6. ^ ""Ireland passes bill allowing gender marker changes on legal documents". Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Gender Recognition Certificate". Department of Social Protection. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  8. ^ McDonald, Henry (16 July 2015). "Ireland passes law allowing trans people to choose their legal gender". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  9. ^ Rogers, Stephen (22 May 2017). "230 'gender recognition certificates' issued since 2015". Irish Examiner.