Gender recognition is ‘transformative’, but bill falls short

04 Aug 2015
Source: 
The Irish Examiner

The Irish Examiner reports on the Irish Gender Recognition Bill, which has passed the Seanad and gone onto the President to be signed into law. However, they report, although the bill is a victory for human rights, since there is no longer a medical gatekeeper to enjoy their right to identity, the bill may be ruled unconstitutional in the way it deals with children's rights. In its current form, children between 16 and 18 may apply to a circuit court to apply for gender recognition before the age of 18. This violates children's rights guaranteed in Article 42A of the Constitution, which guarantees the protection of children's rights and guarantees to hold as paramount the best interests of the child. The bill, however, does not mention the best interests of the child at all, nor does it include processes by which the child's voice may be heard, as applications must be made on behalf of the child by the "next friend" along with certification by two consultant doctors. Furthermore, no provisions are made for children under the age of 16. 

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