Shifting sands on the definition of ‘woman’ in Scots law: the journey of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act from consultation to implementation

That women remain under-represented in public life is largely uncontested. Campaigns to improve the representation of women enjoy support across the political spectrum, even if there are differences in opinion on how that might be achieved. In early 2018, the…

GRA Reform: Meeting with Scottish Government officials 9 March 2020

On what now seems like a lifetime ago, 9 March, we met officials from the Scottish Government to discuss the consultation on the draft Gender Recognition Reform Bill. Our meeting was with a senior official responsible for this area and…

Our response to the Scottish GRA reform consultation (16 March 2020)

We have submitted our response to the Scottish Government's consultation on on GRA reform. Our full consultation response is here, and the key points are summarised below. We do not however, support the Scottish Government proposal for statutory self-declaration for…

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…

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”…

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