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RollOnFriday - law firm writes report called "Only adults? Good practices in legal gender recognition for youth"

(110 Posts)
somebrightmorning Fri 29-Nov-19 19:04:14

RollOnFriday is a satirical online magazine for solicitors.

Dentons is a very very large law firm (but I'm not impressed because I remember them when they were merely Denton Hall....)

I commend this article from RollOnFriday to you:

and I see RollOnFriday also reported this:

You will like this extract:
"Critics of gender self-ID have warned that it will adversely impact women and children in many areas, including rape crisis centres, single-sex hospital wards, women’s sport and identification of discrimination. Dentons' 65-page report characterises their position in two sentences, as concerns which "normally come from women’s groups" about "female prisoners and female public toilets".

Dentons' report also describes critics of gender self-ID as 'TERFs', which began as an acronym for "trans-exclusionary radical feminists" and is understood by many of its targets as a misogynist slur.

When it was asked to comment on aspects of its report, Dentons initially offered up Atanas Politov, its Director for Pro Bono, for an interview. Then it asked for written questions in advance. When these were provided, the world's largest firm by headcount was unable to find anyone prepared to answer them, and gave a general statement instead."

My own position is that hormonal or surgical intervention on a 12 year old is prima facie child abuse and so I'm very surprised that Dentons published such a report.

somebrightmorning Fri 29-Nov-19 19:15:20

It seems the journalist is not exagerrating. Here are some quotes from Dentons' report:

"7. Tie your campaign to more popular reform
In Ireland, Denmark and Norway, changes to the law on legal gender recognition were put through at the same time as other more popular reforms such as marriage equality legislation. This provided a veil of protection, particularly in Ireland, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for.

8. Avoid excessive press coverage and exposure
Another technique which has been used to great effect is the limitation of press coverage and exposure. In certain countries, like the UK, information on legal gender recognition reforms has been misinterpreted in the mainstream media, and opposition has arisen as a result. The effects of this can be dangerous: two out of five transgender people experience hate crime each year in the UK, with young people the least likely to report incidents to the police.37 One in four trans people (26 per cent) directly experience transphobic abuse online each month.38 The UK Home Office have reported that hate crime in general has risen by 48 per cent between 2014 and 2017, with the number of recorded hate crimes and incidents based on sexual orientation rising by 70 percent over the same period.39Against this background, many believe that public campaigning has been detrimental to progress, as much of the general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise. In Ireland, activists have directly lobbied individual politicians and tried to keep press coverage to a minimum in order to avoid this issue. Similarly, in Norway, campaigners developed strong ties with youth politicians, who then presented to the senior members of their parties on the changes that were needed. This technique was effective at persuading more senior politicians, as the changes were being suggested from within their own party rather than an external organisation. We also saw this technique in Denmark.

somebrightmorning Fri 29-Nov-19 19:30:41

And here we have Dentons' summary of the position in the UK

"Media / Public Sentiment
Unfortunately, NGOs noted that the current cultural climate in the UK is “trans-hostile”, noting that the debate on gender recognition had been picked up by the right-wing press. For this reason, NGOs in the UK agreed that using human stories and real trans experiences to campaign for legal change is effective but are currently unable to profile anyone due to the aggressive nature of the current debate. This is especially a concern in relation to young people as there are circumstances where they could be particularly vulnerable as a result of trans-hostile rhetoric. The NGOs observed that many mainstream and right-wing media outlets have given platforms to the voices of trans exclusionary radical feminists (“TERFs”), a term coined by a journalist at the Guardian, a national newspaper. These voices normally come from women’s groups who express concern over streamlining the process for legal gender recognition. Their concerns largely include female prisoners and female public toilets. The UK has been unable to avoid excessive coverage in the media. The NGOs observed that this has meant much of the debate has been confused and does not actually discuss the point at issue, being legal gender recognition, but rather intertwines it with discussions regarding medical surgeries. This is something which the NGOs in the UK are trying to counter-act, as they recognise it as a good practice for advocating trans rights.

ReflectionsThe major lesson NGOs drew from the UK experience is the importance of avoiding, where possible, excessive and negative press coverage. Largely as a result of such press coverage, legal gender recognition continues to be an incredibly divisive issue in the UK.Despite the government consultations, there are no current dates for introducing a self-determination model and further to this, it appears that, in the event of legislative reform, it is unlikely that transgender children under the age of 16 will have access to the process to change their legal gender. Unfortunately, the Scottish government and UK government have not yet put in place a plan for updating the Gender Recognition Act after their consultation and it is possible that this delay is due to the political uncertainty, busy nature of Parliament at this time and Brexit taking priority. There is currently no date set for the UK government response to the consultation or the draft legislation from the Scottish government"

PygmyHippoBob Fri 29-Nov-19 19:49:33

ROF are pleasingly GC. See also:

And the coverage of SH vs Glinner.

Even their discussion forum is GC:

Michelleoftheresistance Fri 29-Nov-19 19:50:16

as much of the general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise.


Misinterpretations like 'there is no conflict with women's fundamental rights' and 'single sex provisions will be preserved'.

Disingenuous article. The general public 'not being properly informed' is a deliberate state maintained with great effort, Whittle and co have explained it at frequent intervals.

The whole 'you'd understand if you'd just educate yourself' is another misconception. People protesting and resisting this have educated themselves extensively, and their primary source has been TRAs, their videos, their articles, their own explanations of their ideology. They are educated: their answer is emphatically no. In fact the 'no' for many people followed becoming educated, when they'd previously been all 'yes' in happy ignorance. I was one of them.

Destroying women's rights, safeguarding, unethical medical practice on children, excluding women from women's spaces, all of this is wrong. It's easy to see.

NonnyMouse1337 Fri 29-Nov-19 20:05:09

Sorry, I'm a bit confused. The magazine is satirical, but if I understood it correctly, the articles you posted aren't?

Dollywilde Fri 29-Nov-19 20:08:43

RollOnFriday is the ‘humour’ side of legal press but it does report on serious news with an eye to stuff the official press doesn’t tend to have. They often don’t qualm at calling out partners accused of sexual offences in the way other websites do.

I read that article and thought they were taking great pains to be balanced as they’ve often been called out about being GC before, particularly in the recent article about the barrister who has set up and LGB network specifically excluding the T.

I’m not wild about it but it does mean it hasn’t attracted the comments their other articles have in the past.

nauticant Fri 29-Nov-19 21:37:08

From the Dentons article:

“This report was prepared on a pro bono basis", said Dentons

Sometimes this stuff writes itself.

somebrightmorning Sat 30-Nov-19 09:32:18

Roll on is sort of half gossip, half trade magazine.
The serious stuff has a bit of a Private Eye feel.
It is very widely read. It is funded by law firms recruitment ads I think.

somebrightmorning Sat 30-Nov-19 09:34:01

“Sorry, I'm a bit confused. The magazine is satirical, but if I understood it correctly, the articles you posted aren't?”
Correct, think Private Eye. You open it up for a cynical laugh but then they slot in important stuff.

Ereshkigal Sat 30-Nov-19 11:14:39

A fan of ours comments below the article:

Just ban Mumsnet now 30 November 19 06:29
TERF is not a misogynist slur, and if you "understand" it that way then you "understand" it wrong and should make more effort to "understand" words properly. TERFs are exactly what the term suggests and they represent a fringe agenda comparable in its aggressive reactionary fervour to the incels. Goodness knows why ROF has decided to take their side (for the record, this article was anything but "balanced").

NonnyMouse1337 Mon 02-Dec-19 07:09:07

Thanks for clarifying Dollywilde and somebrightmorning. smile

Sorry, I got busy over the weekend and forgot about this. Going to read them this morning. Looks like more invaluable info.

TimeLady Mon 02-Dec-19 14:41:11

James Kirkup has picked up on this in The Spectator

RoyalCorgi Mon 02-Dec-19 15:46:45

We had a discussion about this report last week, but the Roll on Friday report is new, so thanks for that. And also good to see James Kirkup picking it up.

It is incredibly sinister for a large law firm to be promoting this particular agenda in this way without any kind of concern for the legal complexities or controversies involved.

stealthsquirrelnutkin Mon 02-Dec-19 15:56:36

Fascinating to see it all laid out so clearly. I've posted a link to the Spectator article on Facebook, wonder what my "you're imagining it" "you're obsessed with that nonsense" friends will think, if they read it.

RubyViolet Mon 02-Dec-19 16:04:21

I hope James can write further on this and explore this method of working in the shadows further. We all knew that this was what is happening. Sunlight indeed !

Ereshkigal Mon 02-Dec-19 16:07:07

In a democracy, we are all free to argue for whatever policy or position we wish. But normally, anyone who wants to change the law accepts that to do so they need to win the support or, at least, the consent of the people whose authority ultimately gives the law its force. The approach outlined, in detail, in the Dentons report amounts to a very different way of lobbying to get the laws and policies you want. Even more notably, it suggests that in several countries people have been quite successful in lobbying behind a ‘veil’ and in a way that deliberately avoids the attention of the public. That, I think, should interest anyone who cares about how politics and policy are conducted, whether or not they care about the transgender issue.

Yes. Great article from James.

Datun Mon 02-Dec-19 16:40:41

Bloody hell that Kirkup article.

You have to hand it to the women on mumsnet. And other feminists. They had this absolutely nailed and banged to rights from the very beginning.

From the report

"Against this background, many believe that public campaigning has been detrimental to progress, as much of the general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise."

Quick, close the damn curtains, there's too much sunlight.

Datun Mon 02-Dec-19 16:44:27

I mean, what nonsense. If you think the public is misinformed, bloody well inform them.

Oh wait...

RoyalCorgi Mon 02-Dec-19 16:50:11

Agree with Datun. And what's amazing about the Dentons report is that it is so upfront about using some very dubious Russian-style propaganda techniques to promote a dodgy agenda. It's almost as if someone has deliberately written a Machiavellian satire of the approach TRA groups are using.

littlbrowndog Mon 02-Dec-19 16:51:52

So what I understand from this. Is

Let’s keep it a secret ?

From us the public

eurochick Mon 02-Dec-19 17:14:15

As a lawyer I find it incredible that a law firm would put its name to a report that recommends how to make changes to the law avoiding proper scrutiny. Despite our image as "sharks" most lawyers are ethical and intelligent individuals. There is nothing ethical about what this report is recommending.

Well done rollonfriday for giving this some sunlight.

Shame on you, Dentons.

LangCleg Mon 02-Dec-19 17:25:31

You have to hand it to the women on mumsnet. And other feminists. They had this absolutely nailed and banged to rights from the very beginning.

Yep. I'm glad James is writing about institutional capture. And I feel for him: he's a nice, liberal middle class man who's decent and whose instincts are for kindness, and who clearly has trust in the British democratic tradition. I fear this has felt shocking to him. I'm immensely grateful he's prepared to interrogate all this without fear or favour.

Those of us way down on the social scale, however, have plenty of experience of the great and the good doing things TO us, not FOR us, and never considering they might require our consent. So we are not shocked.

Michelleoftheresistance Mon 02-Dec-19 17:36:19

I agree with his comment about what is done in the shadows won't survive in sunlight.

In a country where trust in democracy, politics and parties is at an all time low; where all parties have no idea what to do about Brexit with an increasingly angry general public; where much of the mess of Brexit came from the disengagement of politicians with the average person in the street...……….. do they really think dropping this on the general public as a fait accompli with the inevitable disasters that will follow (because you'd have to be bloody stupid or very very determined to avoid foreseeing them), is going to improve anything?

And that's before you look at how these policies throw into reverse many national policies, Local Authority targets, huge amounts of time and investment. It won't work. It won't work in very big way.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 02-Dec-19 17:37:21

Why did Denton's write this?

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