On 18th July 2018, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., announced the publication of the report of the group established to review the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2015.
The Chair submitted the Group’s report to the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection on 15 June 2018. The key recommendations of the report are that, in principle:
- A system of gender recognition be introduced for children subject to the following key principles: parental consent required the process to be administrative, third party support for the child and family involved a straightforward revocation process to be included
- A system of gender recognition to be introduced for people who are non-binary (non-binary is an umbrella term for gender identities that fall outside the gender binary of male or female. This includes individuals whose gender identity is neither exclusively male nor female, a combination of male and female or between or beyond genders)
The report sets out ten core recommendations. The other recommendations relate to Birth Certificate Reference Numbers; costs and privacy associated with updating official documents, the provision of information, and a further review of the Act. All of the recommendations are listed at Appendix 1.
A public consultation process was launched on 8 January 2018. A total of 92 written submissions were received – from private individuals, members of the Oireachtas, individual professionals, advocacy groups, and other organisations. The majority of submissions were broadly supportive of a simplified and more flexible arrangement for children aged 16/17 years; and were also supportive of extending provision for gender recognition to children under 16 years and persons who are non-binary. The Review Group also held consultation meetings with members of the transgender community, including young people; parents of transgender children; medical practitioners; and legal experts.
Section 7 of the Gender Recognition Act 2017 provides for the Minister to carry out a review of the Act. On 3 November 2017 the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection announced the establishment of a group to conduct the review and that the group would be chaired by Moninne Griffith (Executive Director, BeLonG To). The group also included representation from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), other independent experts in the field and Government bodies with an interest in this area. The full composition of the group is available at Appendix 2. A copy of the terms of reference is at Appendix 3.