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18 September 2023   |    News

Gender Recognition Reform Block Court Hearing Starts Tomorrow

At 10am tomorrow (Tuesday 19th September) the Scottish Government’s case for judicial review against the UK Government’s use of a Section 35 order to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill will begin.

The hearing will take place between 10am and 1pm, and then from 2pm until conclusion over the next three days, finishing on Thursday 21st.

All three days of the hearing will be available to watch live online on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website here from 10am: https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/the-courts/supreme-courts/about-the-court-of-session/court-of-session-livestream-hearings

This hearing will be focused on whether the use of a Section 35 order to block the Bill from gaining royal assent was legal or not, and will not be about whether reforming the Gender Recognition Act was the “right” thing to do.

We were granted permission to intervene in this case, meaning that we have submitted a short piece of writing to the Court laying out our perspective on the Section 35 order as experts on trans law, policy and experiences in Scotland. A joint intervention from Stonewall, Gendered Intelligence, and the Institute for Constitutional and Democratic Research was also granted permission, and these interventions will form a small part of the evidence that the Judge will consider to reach their decision.

It may take several weeks for the judge to reach a decision based on the evidence they hear over the next few days, and it is also likely that whoever loses will appeal the decision, meaning we may not know the final decision for quite some time.

For more information on the Section 35 order itself, see our website here: https://www.scottishtrans.org/our-work/gender-recognition-act-reform-2022/gender-recognition-reform-scotland-bill-and-the-section-35-order/

We’ll keep you updated on the results of the hearing when they come.

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