Italian judges increasingly accept non-sterilization for legal gender reassignment

Submitted by Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti

Italy does not have a clear case-law with regard to legal gender reassignment when it comes to sterilisation and surgery. The majority of judges endorsed a restrictive construction of the law passed in 1982, which is actually silent on mandatory surgery and sterilization. The Court of Rome was rather isolated nationwide in supporting a precedent of 1997 not requiring sterilisation and/or surgery. The Court of Rovereto, located in North Italy, issued a landmark decision on 3 May 2013. The decision, which became final by the end of July, clearly took position against sterilization and unwanted surgery. As Alexander Schuster, the lawyer of the plaintiff, points out, the judges stated for the first time that any other interpretation of the law would be against the Constitution and specifically against the protection of “inviolable rights” as mandated by Article 2 of the Italian Constitution. This decision should encourage other judges to follow suit.

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