European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

ILGA-Europe welcomes judgement by European Court of Human Rights on rights of transgender person

Today the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg delivered its judgment in the case of L. v. Lithuania.

The Court said that while Lithuanian law had recognised transsexuals’ right to change not only their gender but also their civil status, there was a gap in the law regulating full gender reassignment surgery which created an impediment for the transsexual person to complete this process and therefore Lithuania violated Article 8 (right to respect of private and family life) of the European Convention of Human Rights.

ILGA-Europe welcomes this judgement of the European Court of Human Rights which is consistent with the previous case law of the Court regarding the rights of transgender people. The Court has confirmed previously established principles that a transgender person has the right to full gender reassignment procedures and changes of his/her identity documents to reflect this change of gender.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“This is a very positive judgement and we welcome the Court’s consistency on this matter. This case highlights a problem with some European countries which formally permit gender reassignment and amendment of identity documents but lack legal clarity and consistency and available medical facilities.

It is also important that the Court took into consideration the mental distress and a number of practical burdens and problems experienced by the applicant because of being unable to complete the gender reassignment process and associated amendments in documentation. This case highlights the complexity and the need for better understanding of the issues that transgender people experience because of the legal and bureaucratic barriers they face.

We are also pleased about the timing of this judgement. ILGA-Europe’s annual conference is taking place this October in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius and both the judgement and our conference, are good opportunities to stimulate debate and discussion on the continuing discrimination LGBT people face across Europe.”

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) Full judgement is available on website of the European Court of Human Rights: http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=823071...

(3) More information about ILGA-Europe’s annual conference: www.ilga-europe.org/conference