The Long Road to Recognition: Transgender Rights and Transgender Reality in Europe
Gerhard Schreiber (ed.), Transsexualität in Theologie und Neurowissenschaften. Ergebnisse, Kontroversen, Perspektiven (De Gruyter 2016)
17 Pages Posted: 2 May 2016
Date Written: May 2, 2016
This paper offers a bird’s eye view on the trans-related case law of the European Court of Human Rights and its relation to the legal situation in the States parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. Focusing primarily on the issue of legal gender recognition, it traces the development of the Court’s jurisprudence from highly restrictive beginnings to its current, somewhat more gracious stance. Legal gender recognition has been obligatory since the landmark ruling in Christine Goodwin v. the United Kingdom, but its preconditions are still largely left up to the States parties. The Court thus continues to accept preconditions like the “divorce requirement,” forced medical or surgical intervention, sterilization, and medical or psychological reports; such an approach can hardly be reconciled with the more general principles of self-determination and human dignity it purports to employ.
Keywords: European Court of Human Rights, transsexuality, transgender rights, legal gender recognition, partnership rights, depathologisation
JEL Classification: K33
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