Edited by Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine
Chapter 11: Transgender rights in Europe: EU and Council of Europe movements towards gender identity equality
This chapter considers supranational legal approaches toward the protection of transgender (trans) rights in Europe. In recent years, trans populations across the Council of Europe have achieved increased rights entitlements. These expanded guarantees have resulted from a broad coalition of intersectional movements – social, legal and political. This chapter explores the role which two judicial actors – the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union – have played in developing trans protections. The chapter identifies key jurisprudence on gender recognition and non-discrimination, introducing landmark judgments such as Goodwin v UK, P v S and Cornwall County Council and Hämäläinen v Finland. The chapter offers a substantive critique of supranational judicial interventions. Acknowledging both the internal and external impact of European regional case law, the chapter acknowledges the transformative impact of the ECtHR and the CJEU in developing trans rights. Yet, observing an emphasis on trans medicalisation and high deference to national actors, the chapter suggests that European judicial approaches require further reflection.
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