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Jay vs Secretary of State for Justice -- getting a GRC on appeal after panel says 'no' three times

(17 Posts)
2010Equality Thu 17-Jan-19 12:11:00

I've just been reading the court judgment behind this story . It is disturbing www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/trangender-rights-gender-recognitions-exposives-womens-prisons-father-of-seven-david-gauke-a8586241.html

It is about ‘Ms Jay’ a seven times dad convicted of obtaining explosives with intent to endanger life. The GRA panel turned Jay down three times, but a single judge sitting on his own overruled it and gave Jay the certificate. (so now they will be in a women's prison...)

The judgement gives the history of Jay: sent to prison for 8 years. Has long psychiatric medical history with no mention of gender identity issues in records. Unstable personality traits. Behavioural impulsivity. Maladaptive coping strategies. Cuts into own testicle “with the intention of removing it”.

First GRC application while in prison: report from Dr James Barrett from London Gender Identity Clinic. Jay claims to have transitioned before prison & been in contact w clinics in London, Birmingham, Nottingham. Barrett sees no evidence “doubts veracity of whole history”. Barrett wonders whether Jay’s “ somewhat dependent personality had caused her to unwisely latch onto a change of gender role as a seemingly universal solution to both why her life had gone wrong and how it might be rectified.”

Out on parole. Second application supported by a new GP who has known Jay a couple of months & has not got full medical records. GPays Jay being seen by Nottingham gender clinic. Jay writes on the letter: left Nottingham Gender Clinic “due to their total incompetence”.

Jay promises letter from “gender specialist” Helen Webberly (!!!) but it never arrives. Goes back to prison after breaking parole. Attempts further self-surgery, removing part of testicles and penis.Jay submits report prepared for a separate court case by forensic psychiatrist at secure hospital. Report is 34 pages w 26 pages redacted by Jay as “not relevant’. The report says Jay has “sought help from Nottingham clinic” & from private specialists [sic] w expertise in gender dysphoria
Panel refuses again. Neither GP nor the forensic psychiatrist have credibly diagnosed gender dysphoria.

Out of prison again. Third GRC Application supported by Dr Vickie Pasterski. Vickie Pasterski (twitter.com/DrPasterski

Dr Pasterski’s report is glowing. No mention of past six years in prison or of previous hacking at own genitals. "is a 39-year-old natal male who has lived in the female gender role since 2013. In this time, she has lived continuously and in all contexts as female, has undertaken laser hair removal, breast augmentation, feminising hormone therapy and feminising body sculpting procedures. Furthermore, to my
knowledge, [Ms Jay] has never been diagnosed with disqualifying psychiatric illness."

Eh? When did all this laser hair removal, breast augmentation & body sculpting happen - since Jay has only been out of prison a few months? Who paid for it? Why are there no medical records mentioning it? The panel noticed this too, and start asking questions. Did Dr Pasterski know her patient had been in prison for most of past 6 years? Are there any medical records of treatment? Has Jay been employed since prison? Panel thinks Jay “may have something to hide”.

Jay responds with a letter vociferously complaining about the panel’s conduct, describing it as “pathetic” and “a total disgrace” (Jay often responds to panel by returning their letters with intemperate written comments)

November 2017 Jay breaks parole conditions again and goes back to prison. Files appeal against the panel’s decision. Supported by a report from another doctor who has only seen Jay once. At the appeal the Judge pronounces, without the panel, that he is convinced by the evidence that Jay has gender dysphoria. Judge says GRA is designed to be "permissive rather than restrictive" and the evidential requirements are ancillary to the statutory criteria.

2010Equality Thu 17-Jan-19 12:11:27

Court judgement is here: www.cloisters.com/images/M_Jay_v_Sec_of_State_for_Justice_2018_EWHC_2620_Fam_003.pdf

OvaHere Thu 17-Jan-19 12:15:15

What a shit show. Nothing screams woman like being a father of 7 hmm

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Thu 17-Jan-19 12:47:23

If some specialist rule out gender dysphoria, yet other can diagnose after only one session, how can the patient and society trust the diagnosis? Are all specialist using the same criteria?

ChickenonaMug Thu 17-Jan-19 13:10:32

If some specialist rule out gender dysphoria, yet other can diagnose after only one session, how can the patient and society trust the diagnosis
The trust element was such an important part of why the GRA 2004 was accepted for so long. It resulted in a degree of protection for both women and transgender people. Women trusted that it applied to a small number of people who they felt assured would have been adequately assessed and trans people with a GRC could have confidence that other people trusted the process. The trust thing was hugely important when attempting to balance right's although sadly when an individual woman's rights were impacted then this was ignored. The trust has gone for many and will increasingly disappear for many more, largely because honesty, consent and safeguarding were not placed at the forefront of so many of the changes that have been proposed and implemented.

Knicknackpaddyflak Thu 17-Jan-19 19:47:24

The trust has gone

Yup.

It's one or the other. If it's anyone who wants one can have one, its supposed to be permissive and easy and so on, fine. Freedom to be yourself, go for it.

But in that case women have no option but to be clear that TWAW is a lie, TWATW. Women's spaces are for women. Specific TW spaces now needed.

PencilsInSpace Thu 17-Jan-19 20:03:54

I read this when it first came out.

The most interesting thing about this case is that the judge allowed new evidence and himself granted a GRC without referring it back to the gender recognition panel.

You'll hear a lot of TRAs saying the current GRA is not fair because there is no right of appeal. In fact there is a right of appeal written into the GRA but only in the sense of a judicial review - the appeal judge is supposed to look at the evidence the panel had at the time they made their decision and decide if their decision was lawful or not based on that evidence.

This makes sense because as the judge pointed out, the GRA is designed to be "permissive rather than restrictive" - as long as you meet the criteria the panel must grant a GRC.

By allowing new evidence to be presented and not referring back to the panel, the judge has gone beyond what a judicial review is supposed to do - he has granted a GRC based on evidence which was not available to the panel when they made their decision.

As far as I can see (and IANAL) this creates a legal precedent that gives GRC applicants a full right of appeal.

PencilsInSpace Thu 17-Jan-19 20:09:37

And yes, a single judge made the decision, not a panel that includes medical experts which is very worrying.

If you are not awarded PIP or ESA / equivalent part of UC and you appeal the decision, the tribunal will have at least one medical expert sitting. They're set up to be able to consider any new evidence.

SonicVersusGynaephobia Thu 17-Jan-19 20:17:42

Well, I guess we almost self-ID already then.

FFS.

ChickenonaMug Thu 17-Jan-19 20:28:43

That is very interesting Pencils.

OlennasWimple Fri 18-Jan-19 01:14:43

As I've said before (but will keep saying because it's important): a GRC is not a certificate of good behaviour. It doesn't guarantee that someone is a decent person and not a threat to others. It doesn't mean that they don't have a criminal history. It doesn't mean that they are of completely sound mind.

That's not what is considered by the panel (or the judge, in this case)

Pencils - I can't find the judgement to read, but from what you have said I agree with your analysis. I would guess it came down to "Ms Jay" having a better lawyer than the state, on this occasion

RedToothBrush Fri 18-Jan-19 01:28:17

Did they really contact Helen Webberley or was this just a lie.

Or was this person too toxic for even Webberley to go near, and did Webberley by not replying inadvertently give away that she doesnt believe this person is a woman and does not want to affirm them. Cos if that's true, then Webberley also opens herself up to questions about why she goes so out of her way to justify her actions by saying its to stop self harm, yet then being selective in who she treats rather than treating all patients without prejudice.

I'd really love to know whether Webberley was contacted. Cos if it's true its fascinating.

ZuttZeVootEeeVro Fri 18-Jan-19 04:50:20

As I've said before (but will keep saying because it's important): a GRC is not a certificate of good behaviour. It doesn't guarantee that someone is a decent person and not a threat to others. It doesn't mean that they don't have a criminal history. It doesn't mean that they are of completely sound mind.

I don't think this can be said enough.

PencilsInSpace Fri 18-Jan-19 09:22:37

OlennasWimple the judgment is linked in OP's second post.

2010Equality Fri 18-Jan-19 22:53:10

Pencils yes interesting. The judge took in new evidence but he didn't have the expertise of the panel to assess it. He also doesn't mention whether the final doctor at the Sheffield clinic confirmed the claims that Dr Pasterski made - - of breast augmentation, body sculpting and laser hair removal.

He says she mentions Jay's time in prison.... But that wasn't really the point. The point was when did Jay have all this stuff done if they were mainly in prison??

If that final doctor confirmed all the stuff I wonder why the judge didnt say so? And if she didn't, why did he have no curiosity about that?

I guess the Secretary of State's lawyer did not want to dwell on the credibility of the report by a doc on the recommended list for the GRA either hmm

OlennasWimple Sat 19-Jan-19 00:37:12

Thanks - I'd missed the second post with the judgment link....

"Ms Jay"'s barrister has an interesting track record, including in trans issues and wider human rights cases

The government barrister seems to be a jack of all trade, but with a number of HMG cases under his belt

Having read the judgment, I can see why the judge acted as he did. The main point of the HMg defence was that the decision shoudl be sent back to the panel to be made again (rather than maintaining that the correct decision had been made), and the judge was able to draw on previous instances where that court had considered medical evidence itself rather than remit it to an expert panel for consideration.

However...

I was pleased to see the extensive support that "Ms Jay" received from the administrative team managing the GRC process. They wrote several times to request the necessary paperwork (through all three applications) , and for example, suggested applying for an extension when it became clear that it would not be possible to provide the (legally required) medical report. Frankly all public applications should be managed like this, whether it's submitting a tax return, claiming disability benefits or applying for a passport. But they aren't at all - I have never come across a process where there is so much support for the applicant to try to enable their application to succeed. So much for the humiliating, degrading process we have been told about.

Interesting that in 2015 Dr Webberley was "not known to the [GRC] panel" - certainly means that she was not on the list of prescribed specialists, and possibly means that they hadn't come across many cases where she had been involved

Dr Pasterski's report says that "[M Jay] presented to me in female role, was dressed appropriately and had a remarkably feminine
appearance and demeanour" - WTF is a "feminine demeanour"? Did "Ms Jay" blush and titter with a tinkly little laugh?

How interesting that "statistics produced by Ms McCann demonstrate that fewer than 5% of applications to the panel are refused." Again, hardly evidence that the panel process is so abhorrent

An aside: yet another serial name changer.... This from the judgment:

"On 6 December 2013, Ms Jay changed her name by deed poll. The name she then took was the female first name by which she was then known and her birth surname. (In 2016, she changed her surname by deed poll to the name she is currently using. I understand that in the last few weeks since the hearing she has changed her first name again.)"

OlennasWimple Sat 19-Jan-19 00:40:57

And a salutary warning that on t'internet you really don't know who you are talking to: www.reddit.com/r/transgenderUK/comments/4ew3ac/has_anyone_used_dr_vickie_pasterski_private/ "Mellissa Jay" in this thread is almost certainly the individual in the case concerned. You'd never know that they had been imprisoned for possession of explosives, three times married and prone to violent outbursts and self-harm episodes, would you...

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