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New paper: Reform 'under the radar'? Lessons for Scotland from the Development of Gender Self-Declaration Laws in Europe'

(22 Posts)
MurrayBlackburnMackenzie Fri 08-May-20 09:45:34

We have a new paper out, which will be published imminently in the Edinburgh Law Review.

It looks at how gender self-ID was introduced in other European countries and concludes that those jurisdictions who have already introduced self-declaration models for legal sex change have tended to do so with very little public scrutiny.

We're not sure whether the paper will sit outside the journal's paywall so we've published an advance copy on our website, in case of interest:

An open access version of our first paper on policy capture is now online too:

Thanks again to everyone who has supported our work.

Kath, Lucy and Lisa

OP’s posts: |
Melroses Fri 08-May-20 09:55:24

Thank you. brew

Lordfrontpaw Fri 08-May-20 10:29:27

Big cup of coffee... large bar of chocolate... do I need a stress ball?

littlbrowndog Fri 08-May-20 10:43:11

🍹🍹🍹this you need this

littlbrowndog Fri 08-May-20 10:43:55

Ta Kath Lucy Lisa. So glad you are doing this

Winesalot Fri 08-May-20 10:47:36

Thank you for your continued focus and for sharing this. Are you able to email or tweet a link to Baroness Nicholson or when it is published?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 08-May-20 12:16:47

That is a fascinating and rather alarming paper - thank you!

Chrysanthemum5 Fri 08-May-20 12:29:22

Brilliant work again - thank you so much for the clarity you bring. Definitely a good suggestion by PP to send to the Baroness

TheProdigalKittensReturn Fri 08-May-20 13:00:22

Thank you for both the link and working hard to shed some much needed light. "Under the radar" is a rather sinister idea in a legal context.

ThinEndoftheWedge Fri 08-May-20 13:02:38

Thank you.

R0wantrees Fri 08-May-20 13:42:56

from MSB article linked in OP:

"Our analysis suggests that those jurisdictions in Europe who have already introduced self-declaration models for legal sex change have tended to do so with very little public scrutiny. A report prepared by international law firm Dentons aimed at those advocating for self-declaration stated that pursuing reform ‘under the radar’ (in its own words) had been a deliberate strategy in Ireland, and advised that proponents of reform should seek to avoid media coverage and ‘latch trans rights legislation onto more popular legal reforms’ – such as same-sex marriage." (continues)

Spectator by James Kirkup
2 December 2019
'The document that reveals the remarkable tactics of trans lobbyists'

"A great deal of the transgender debate is unexplained. One of the most mystifying aspects is the speed and success of a small number of small organisations in achieving major influence over public bodies, politicians and officials. How has a certain idea taken hold in so many places so swiftly?

People and organisations that at the start of this decade had no clear policy on or even knowledge of trans issues are now enthusiastically embracing non-binary gender identities and transition, offering gender-neutral toilets and other changes required to accommodate trans people and their interests. These changes have, among other things, surprised many people. They wonder how this happened, and why no one seems to have asked them what they think about it, or considered how those changes might affect them. (continues)

So the question again: how did organisations with small budgets and limited resources achieve such stunning success, not just in the UK but elsewhere?

Well, thanks to the legal website Roll On Friday, I have now seen a document that helps answer that question. [linked below]

The document is the work of Dentons, which says it is the world’s biggest law firm; the Thomson Reuters Foundation, an arm of the old media giant that appears dedicated to identity politics of various sorts; and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth & Student Organisation (IGLYO). Both Dentons and the Thomson Reuters Foundation note that the document does not necessarily reflect their views. [linked below]

The report is called 'Only adults? Good practices in legal gender recognition for youth'. Its purpose is to help trans groups in several countries bring about changes in the law to allow children to legally change their gender, without adult approval and without needing the approval of any authorities. 'We hope this report will be a powerful tool for activists and NGOs working to advance the rights of trans youth across Europe and beyond,' says the foreword.

As you’d expect of a report co-written by the staff of a major law firm, it’s a comprehensive and solid document, summarising law, policy and 'advocacy' across several countries. Based on the contributions of trans groups from around the world (including two in the UK, one of which is not named), it collects and shares 'best practice' in 'lobbying' to change the law so that parents no longer have a say on their child’s legal gender.

In the words of the report:

^“'It is recognised that the requirement for parental consent or the consent of a legal guardian can be restrictive and problematic for minors.'^

You might think that the very purpose of parenting is, in part, to 'restrict' the choices of children who cannot, by definition, make fully-informed adult choices on their own. But that is not the stance of the report.

Indeed, it suggests that 'states should take action against parents who are obstructing the free development of a young trans person’s identity in refusing to give parental authorisation when required.'

In short, this is a handbook for lobbying groups that want to remove parental consent over significant aspects of children’s lives. A handbook written by an international law firm and backed by one of the world’s biggest charitable foundations." (continues)

Roll on Friday,
'Dentons campaigns for kids to switch gender without parental approval'
By Jamie Hamilton
29 November 2019


The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth & Student Organisation (IGLYO) is a network of 96 national and local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and
intersex youth and student organisations across the Council of Europe region

Thomson Reuters Foundation is the corporate foundation of homson Reuters, the global news and information services company.

TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme, connecting the best law firms and corporate legal teams around the world with high-impact NGOs and social enterprises working to create social and environmental change

Dentons is a polycentric law firm ranked as the world’s largest law firm by number of lawyers. Our extensive global coverage connects pro bono clients to the top-tier legal expertise wherever they need it
in the world.

R0wantrees Fri 08-May-20 13:44:51

Kath, Lucy and Lisa

Thank you all for such brilliant work flowers

stumbledin Fri 08-May-20 23:29:17

Just to say has now been reported in the National

Ministers have said they want to follow “international best practice” on the matter after a number of other countries undertook their own reform programmes.

Last night they denied trying to avoid public scrutiny following the publication of new analysis published in the Edinburgh Law Review.

Highlighting its two consultations, the Scottish Government said: “We completely reject this accusation.

“The proposed Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill is currently on hold, as a consequence of the current pandemic – precisely in order that this important issue can be given the scrutiny it deserves.”

MurrayBlackburnMackenzie Sat 09-May-20 08:52:29

Thanks, @stumbledin. Yes, we had spotted that.

The headline in that article and the quote from the Scottish Government are both very odd. Our paper actually suggests that there has been greater scrutiny of the proposals from both the Scottish and UK Governments, in contrast to the jurisdictions where self-ID laws have been brought in elsewhere.

The 'under the radar' remarks relate to those countries, and as @R0wantrees points out above, that quote was a direct lift from the Dentons report from last year.

There is a more accurate article in Scottish Legal News:

OP’s posts: |
NonnyMouse1337 Sat 09-May-20 09:10:01

Immensely grateful for your work in Scotland! I've started reading the report.

BetsyM00 Sat 09-May-20 12:15:49

Highlighting its two consultations, the Scottish Government said: “We completely reject this accusation.

“The proposed Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill is currently on hold, as a consequence of the current pandemic – precisely in order that this important issue can be given the scrutiny it deserves.”

This Scotgov comment does not make any sense. The Bill was halted because of the pandemic, not because they wanted to give the matter more scrutiny. Which it's most certainly not doing any way because, according to FWS's blog, the analysis of the consultation responses has been cancelled.

And there is no indication that the contract has been put out for tender again.

ScrimpshawTheSecond Sat 09-May-20 14:32:07

Does anyone have the impression the Scottish govt are efforting immensely hard to say two contradictory things at once? Both 'gra reform has been kicked into the long grass and likely won't be revisited' and 'we'll plough on with GRA reform as planned just as soon as corona is out of the way'.

Maybe it's different speculative reports I've heard. Nothing seems to be very clear, but SA Somerville was still grimly set on continuing, afair.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Sat 09-May-20 15:04:23

My guess would be "we'll say long grass and they'll believe us and then we can pick it up again after corona and they won't notice until it's done".

Babdoc Sat 09-May-20 16:11:00

The SNP have always made a point of virtue signalling their “more progressive, liberal and woke than England” credentials.
Which is ironic for a party hellbent on centralised control with an iron fist, and the silencing of dissent in its own ranks.

Manderleyagain Sat 09-May-20 18:59:31

Thanks for the work you do. And for this. I will have a read!
Will both articles be free to access for ever - or will the one not on your Web site revert to being behind a pay wall at some point?

MurrayBlackburnMackenzie Sun 10-May-20 09:56:29

Hi @Manderleyagain

They should remain open access in perpetuity so no rush to download!

OP’s posts: |
ScrimpshawTheSecond Sun 10-May-20 11:04:30

I meant to say - sincere thanks for all your work, MurrayBlackburnMackenzie. I'm so glad knowledgeable women are scrutinising this.

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