General News

Judge rules gender dysphoria diagnosis “unnecessary” for legal recognition

Rachel Badham May 21, 2021

In a symbolic victory for trans rights, a judge in Northern Ireland ruled in favour of an anonymous trans women who sought to eradicate the requirements that trans people are made to meet in order to gain legal recognition. On May 13, Justice Scoffield ruled that the current regulations, in which trans people must receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to be legally recognised by their gender, are “unjustified”.

The court then determined that the requirement for trans people to prove they are experiencing gender dysphoria was incompatible with regulations laid out by the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the ruling is largely symbolic as the judge’s suggestions to discontinue the requirement of a gender dysphoria diagnosis may not progress any further.

In 2019, the World Health Organisation stopped classifying trans identities as a disorder, moving from a definition of ‘gender identity disorder’ to ‘gender incongruence’ in an effort to “reduce stigma”. However, a diagnosis of gender dysphoria continues to be a legal requirement for trans people to be legally recognised.