Rees v The United Kingdom: ECHR 17 Oct 1986

The applicant had been born and registered as a female, but later came to receive treatment and to live as a male. He complained that the respondent had failed to amend his birth certificate.
Held: The court accepted that, by failing to confer on a transsexual a right to an amended birth certificate, the state was not guilty of ‘interference’ with his rights under article 8. It noted that the article could nevertheless give rise to positive obligations but proceeded not to discern one in that situation.
Application of the Corbett criteria, and consequent non-recognition of change of gender by post-operative transsexual persons, did not constitute a violation of article 8 (right to respect for private life) or article 12 (right to marry). The fair balance to be struck between the general interest of the community and the interests of the individual, will inevitably vary, and such an obligation must not be interpreted in such a way as to impose an impossible or disproportionate burden on the authorities. ‘The term ‘transsexual’ is usually applied to those who, whilst belonging physically to one sex, feel convinced that they belong to the other; they often seek to achieve a more integrated, unambiguous identity by undergoing medical treatment and surgical operations to adapt their physical characteristics to their psychological nature. Transsexuals who have been operated upon thus form a fairly well-defined and identifiable group.’
9532/81, (1987) 9 EHRR 56, [1986] ECHR 11
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 8 12
Human Rights
Citing:
CitedCorbett v Corbett (otherwise Ashley) FD 1-Feb-1970
There had been a purported marriage in 1963 between a man and a male to female trans-sexual.
Held: Because marriage is essentially a union between a man and a woman, the relationship depended on sex, and not on gender. The law should adopt the . .

Cited by:
CitedSheffield and Horsham v The United Kingdom ECHR 30-Jul-1998
It is within a nation’s margin of appreciation to refuse to re-register birth details of people who had undergone sex-changes. Similarly it was not a human rights infringement not to allow post operative trans-sexuals to marry. However the court was . .
CitedBellinger v Bellinger HL 10-Apr-2003
Transgendered Male/Female not to marry as Female
The parties had gone through a form of marriage, but Mrs B had previously undergone gender re-assignment surgery. Section 11(c) of the 1973 Act required a marriage to be between a male and a female. It was argued that the section was incompatible . .
CitedCossey v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Sep-1990
A male to female transsexual who had undergone full gender reassignment surgery wished to marry. The court held that despite the Resolution of the European Parliament on 12th September 1989 and Recommendation 1117 adopted by the Parliamentary . .
CitedMartin v McGuiness OHCS 2-Apr-2003
The pursuyer sought to have excluded evidence obtained unlawfully. He sought damages forr personal injuries. The defender had employed an enquiry agent who had taken films of him which he claimed infringed his rights to private and family life.
CitedAppleby and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 6-May-2003
The claimants sought to demonstrate against a development in their home town. The respondents who owned the shopping mall which dominated the town centre, refused to allow them to demonstrate in the mall or to distribute protesting leaflets. The . .
CitedA v West Yorkshire Police HL 6-May-2004
The claimant was a male to female trans-sexual who had been refused employment as a police officer by the respondent, who had said that the staturory requirement for males to search males and for females to search females would be impossible to . .
CitedFitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd HL 28-Oct-1999
Same Sex Paartner to Inherit as Family Member
The claimant had lived with the original tenant in a stable and long standing homosexual relationship at the deceased’s flat. After the tenant’s death he sought a statutory tenancy as a spouse of the deceased. The Act had been extended to include as . .
CitedFitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd HL 28-Oct-1999
Same Sex Paartner to Inherit as Family Member
The claimant had lived with the original tenant in a stable and long standing homosexual relationship at the deceased’s flat. After the tenant’s death he sought a statutory tenancy as a spouse of the deceased. The Act had been extended to include as . .
CitedB And L v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-Sep-2005
The claimants said that UK law was inconsistent in its treatment of marriage between in-laws, since it provided that it was available only by means of a private Act of parliament.
Held: The provision was irrational and infringed the human . .
CitedJ v S T (Formerly J) CA 21-Nov-1996
The parties had married, but the male partner was a transsexual, having been born female and having undergone treatment for Gender Identity Dysphoria. After IVF treatment, the couple had a child. As the marriage broke down the truth was revealed in . .
CitedWilkinson v Kitzinger and others FD 31-Jul-2006
The parties had gone through a ceremony of marriage in Columbia, being both women. After the relationship failed, the claimant sought a declaration that the witholding of the recognition of same-sex marriages recoginised in a foreign jurisdiction . .
CitedGoodwin v The United Kingdom ECHR 11-Jul-2002
The claimant was a post operative male to female trans-sexual. She claimed that her human rights were infringed when she was still treated as a man for National Insurance contributions purposes, where she continued to make payments after the age at . .
CitedT and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
T and JB, asserted that the reference in certificates issued by the state to cautions given to them violated their right to respect for their private life under article 8 of the Convention. T further claims that the obligation cast upon him to . .
CitedElan-Cane, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another CA 10-Mar-2020
No right to non-gendered passport
The claimant sought judicial review of the police of the respondent’s policy requiring a passport applicant to identify themselves as either male or female. The claimant began life as a female, but, with surgery, asserted a non-gendered identity. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 April 2021; Ref: scu.164966