Links to documents:
Download this file (CASE OF CHRISTINE GOODWIN v. THE UNITED KINGDOM.pdf)Judgment of Goodwin v. UK[Archive copy hosted by UK Trans Info]
Download this file (Grand Chamber judgment I. v. United Kingdom 11.07.02.pdf)Judgment of I v. UK[Archive copy hosted by UK Trans Info]

Brief Summary

Landmark cases which led to the creation of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Description from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Christine Goodwin and another woman referred to as “I” were transsexual women whose cases were heard together by the European Court of Human Rights. They followed in the footsteps of several previous applicants presenting similar cases (Rees – 1986; Cossey – 1990; and Sheffield and Horsham – 1998). Both applicants presented evidence that the refusal by the Government of the United Kingdom to provide for legal recognition of their permanent change of gender role led to multiple violations of their right to private life (Article 8) and their right to family life (Article 12) – the latter because of their inability to marry someone of the opposite gender role. The Government argued that neither woman’s right to marry was impinged because they were both free to marry other women (being legally men). This was long before the Civil Partnership Act was planned. The court did not agree with the Government’s arguments and ruled unanimously that previous decisions to award the UK a margin of appreciation could no longer apply. The judges decided that it would not place a disproportionate burden on society to require the Government to accommodate the needs of transsexual people by issuing new birth certificates and permitting marriage to someone of the opposite gender.

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