Trans Rights Are Not Just Human Rights: Legal Strategies for Trans Justice
35:2 Canadian Journal of Law and Society (2020, Forthcoming).
22 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2020 Last revised: 23 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2020
Human rights instruments are but one of many legal advocacy tools used by trans people. Recent legal scholarship emphasizes that human rights laws are not sufficient to address legal challenges facing trans people, particularly intersectional and systemic barriers. This paper looks to Canadian trans case law outside of human rights law to reveal the many instances in which trans people's fight for legal recognition and redress occur outside of the human rights arena. It focuses on trans case law in three areas: family law, the use of name and gender in court, and access to social benefits. Canadian trans jurisprudence illustrates that not only are trans legal strategies outside of human rights plentiful and effective, they are also imperative. An agile and pragmatic approach to trans rights is necessary, particularly when minority rights are under threat and for trans people on the margins of trans law reforms.
Keywords: trans, transgender, human rights, social justice, gender and the law, gender identity, gender expression
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