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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Jens M. Scherpe and Peter Dunne (University of Bristol) have submitted a joint consultation response to the Hong Kong Inter-departmental Working Group on Gender Recognition (IWGGR). The submission was based on their joint chapter (The Legal Status of Transsexual and Transgender Persons – Comparative Analysis and Recommendations) published in Jens M. Scherpe (ed.), The Legal Status of Transsexual and Transgender Persons, which was cited extensively by the IWGGR in their consultation paper.

The consolation was necessary after the decision of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in W v Registrar of Marriages [2013] 3 HKLRD 90; FACV 4/2012 (13 May 2013). Following the HKCFA’s ruling and observations, the IWGGR was established in January 2014 to consider whether it is necessary to introduce legislation and incidental administrative measures to deal with issues concerning gender recognition in Hong Kong, and the consultation period ended on 31.12.2017.

In their joint response to the consultation paper, Scherpe and Dunne call for a legislative scheme for the recognition of preferred gender be established. With regard to the content of the scheme, they inter alia recommend that applicants

  • should not have to complete a period of ‘real life experience’ before they are entitled to legal affirmation;
  • should not be required to submit to any physical medical interventions (including, surgery, sterilisation or hormone treatment) as a pre-condition for obtaining affirmation;
  • should not require applicants to divorce before being affirmed in their preferred gender;
  • should not have to prove a diagnosis of gender dysphoria; and
  • should be entitled to access gender recognition through a process of self-determination.

The full joint consultation response is available to download.