ADF International files brief with European Court in cases concerning how states recognize claimed gender changes after birth
What’s at Stake:
- The discretion of Council of Europe member states to decide the most appropriate and proportionate means of applying Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
- The legitimizing of a non-binding, non-legislatively drafted document (Yogyakarta Principles) as a binding human rights document
Member States of the Council of Europe currently have a wide margin of appreciation concerning whether and how to recognize claimed gender changes after birth. This is appropriate, given that there is no consensus regarding the diagnosis and treatment of transgenderism.
Three French citizens separately attempted to change gender, as noted in the registry, from male to female. Domestic courts rejected each request. The three have now brought their cases against France to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Two of the applicants lodged complaints against France on the basis of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. All three applications rely on the Yogyakarta Principles, a non-binding and non-democratically created list of alleged human rights related to “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual” individuals.
In July 2015, ADF International filed a third party brief with the ECHR. The brief argues that if the court issues a ruling which prescribes how states should recognise claimed gender changes, this would strip member states of their role in deciding how to apply Article 8 of the Convention. It also warns that any reliance on the Yogyakarta Principles would set a dangerous precedent, giving legitimacy to a non-binding, non-legislatively drafted document.
Our Role in the Case
ADF International filed a third party brief with the ECHR.