Sheffield 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 critical of the United Kingdom’s apparent failure to take any steps to keep this area of the law under review. There is, the court said, an increased social acceptance of trans-sexualism and an increased recognition of the problems which post-operative transsexual people encounter. The court reiterated that this area ‘needs to be kept under review by Contracting States’
Hudoc No violation of Art. 8; No violation of Art. 12; No violation of Art. 14+8; Not necessary to examine Art. 13


Times 04-Sep-1998, 22985/93, 23390/94, (1998) 27 EHRR 163, [1998] ECHR 69




European Convention on Human Rights Art 8, 12


Human Rights


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 . .
CitedRees 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 . .
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:

CitedBellinger v Bellinger HL 10-Apr-2003
Transgender Male to 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 . .
CitedStott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline) and Another v Brown PC 5-Dec-2000
The system under which the registered keeper of a vehicle was obliged to identify herself as the driver, and such admission was to be used subsequently as evidence against her on a charge of driving with excess alcohol, was not a breach of her right . .
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 . .
CitedGrant v The Queen PC 16-Jan-2006
(Jamaica) The defendant appealed his conviction for murder saying that the admission of an unsworn statement by one witness and the non-admission of another similar statement who did not either attend court was unconstitutional. He shot the victim . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Family, Administrative

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.165644