Talk

Advanced search

Transgender Guidance for Judges - guess what?

(6 Posts)
bluehighlighter Tue 25-Feb-20 15:24:34

From the Law Society Gazette:
"Guidance for judges on transgender issues has come under fire from solicitors in the wake of controversial court rulings. Feminist lawyers say the guidance, in the Equal Treatment Bench Book, fails to highlight conflicts between transgender and women’s rights.

The Bench Book advises that transgender defendants should be addressed by the pronouns of their choice and that ‘self-definition is the most important criteria’ (sic). At least one victim of violence by a transgender woman has been reprimanded in court for using male pronouns while describing the attack. Finding the defendant guilty, the judge refused the victim compensation, saying that when asked to refer to the defendant as ‘she’, the victim had done so with ‘bad grace’ or continued to use ‘he’.

Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, head of the Centre for Women’s Justice, has raised concerns about pronoun use in cases involving violence against women. ‘Here there is a conflict between the right of self-definition and the right of a victim, who may have been violated in the most horrendous way, to describe her material reality as she perceives it,’ she said. ‘Why is the victim’s right less important?’

The Bench Book also endorses the terms ‘cisgender’ or ‘cis’ as ‘often used to describe people whose gender identity corresponds to the sex assigned to them at birth’. The book does not mention that some women find the term ‘cis’ offensive. The Gazette understands that the term was also introduced to judges at a training session last year without any kind of warning as to its use.

Criminal defence barrister Allison Bailey of the LGB Alliance, which campaigns for the rights of same-sex attracted people, told the Gazette: ‘Judges have been led to believe that women do not mind being described as cisgender when it is regarded by many, myself included, as highly offensive. I do not have a gender and object to being redefined by men who wish to live as women. It is the most offensive power play.’

However, LGBT pressure group Stonewall said: ‘The language we use is hugely significant, especially when it comes to trans communities who face high levels of harassment and abuse in their daily lives. Using a trans person’s correct name and pronoun is as important as it is for anyone else. This helps ensure trans people are respected and accepted for who they are.’

The Judicial College declined to identify the external experts and organisations that assist in training and formulation of policy. ‘It is not necessary or in the public interest to make public the names of all those involved in this work,’ it said."

OP’s posts: |
LucretiaBourgeois Tue 25-Feb-20 23:48:10

Bumping this because I think it's important. Another example of what is happening now - GC women speaking out about their concerns and being given some space to do so, rather than being silenced.

That last bit: The Judicial College declined to identify the external experts and organisations that assist in training and formulation of policy. ‘It is not necessary or in the public interest to make public the names of all those involved in this work,’ it said." If judges are being "trained" like so many other groups to believe as truth something one-sided put forward by a TRA pressure group surely that is very much in the public interest. An FoI request is surely in order?

BovaryX Wed 26-Feb-20 06:02:40

Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, head of the Centre for Women’s Justice, has raised concerns about pronoun use in cases involving violence against women. ‘Here there is a conflict between the right of self-definition and the right of a victim, who may have been violated in the most horrendous way, to describe her material reality as she perceives it,’ she said. ‘Why is the victim’s right less important?

Harriet Wistrich makes an excellent point. Why is the victim of a violent crime being forced to use compelled speech to deny her material reality? When the GRA was discussed prior to its passage in 2004, Lord Tebbitt and Baroness O'Caithness raised precisely this objection. That people would be compelled by state agencies to lie about their perception of reality. They were assured that would never happen. Yet Maria McLachlan is reprimanded by the judge for using the wrong pronoun to describe the person who violently assaulted her. This situation is appalling. Why is the judiciary and legal system so heavily weighted against the female victims of crimes?

BovaryX Wed 26-Feb-20 06:28:07

Criminal defence barrister Allison Bailey of the LGB Alliance, which campaigns for the rights of same-sex attracted people, told the Gazette: ‘Judges have been led to believe that women do not mind being described as cisgender when it is regarded by many, myself included, as highly offensive. I do not have a gender and object to being redefined by men who wish to live as women. It is the most offensive power play

Another excellent point. Why should any woman have to meekly submit to an ugly, redundant prefix invented by men to trivialise and demean our sex?

EverardDigby Wed 26-Feb-20 06:33:57

It needs specific examples, "When she raped me with her penis" to demonstrate how fucking ridiculous it is. What happens when it's a child as in the David Challenor case? Do they have to lie too?

eurochick Wed 26-Feb-20 06:41:38

FYI there is another thread on this.

Judge's warnings over recent legal cases. http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3831337-judge-s-warnings-over-recent-legal-cases

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in