We need more clarity on gender rights debate from Scottish Government

This article originally appeared in The Scotsman on 1 January 2020. The link to the article has since been removed following a redesign of The Scotsman website. The Government must spell out the effect of gender ­recognition certificates on access…

From medical assessment to affirmation: legal gender self-declaration in Ireland

Cited by the Scottish Government as its main example of ‘international best practice’, in 2015 the Irish Government passed the Gender Recognition Act. Yet the vast majority of Irish people have little or no awareness of the degree of legislative…

A tale of two letters: whose views count?

Introduction Since November 2018, an intense debate has broken out over whether the sex question in the 2021 census should be framed in terms of self-declared gender identity, legal or biological sex. We have previously argued that we think that…

Scottish Government response to our questions on reforming the Gender Recognition Act

On 6 January 2020 we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville, with a set of questions about the Scottish Government consultation on gender recognition reform and draft Bill (our original letter is shown…

Is the Scottish Government seeking to build consensus on gender recognition reform?

In an interview with STV broadcast on 20 February 2020, Cabinet Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville stated that she is “absolutely determined” to press ahead with reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) to allow a person to change their legal…

Comparing the 2004 Act and the Scottish Government draft Bill: what changes with self-declaration?

Introduction The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) at present has two elements. It specifies what characteristics a person must already have to be entitled to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) (i.e. what they must be), and separately, what…

Improving the Gender Recognition Certificate process: a point of consensus?

Introduction Under section 3(3) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) a person applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) is required to tell the Gender Recognition Panel (GRP) about their past “treatment for the purpose of modifying sexual characteristics”…

Briefing Note: Impact of Gender Recognition Reform on Sex Based Rights

This briefing note provided to us by Employment Solicitor Rebecca Bull examines the interaction between the Equality Act 2010 (“EqA 2010”) and the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (“GRA 2004”). The note can be accessed here: Impact of gender recognition on…

Scottish GRA reform proposals: UK-wide effects

This blog looks at the potential UK wide effects of gender recognition reform in Scotland. Although the Scottish Government's consultation paper does not include a specific discussion of the cross-border implications, the provisions in the draft Bill suggest that a…

MBM view on proposals for the sex question in the UK 2021 census

This briefing examines the guidance proposed by UK census authorities to accompany the sex question. We argue that the UK is currently at risk of losing meaningful data on a key demographic variable used by policy-makers and statisticians, and recommend…

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