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Updates from Day 2 of the Appeal. You can watch the last two days on YouTube here. What the Claimant said (Bell and Mrs A): The claimant said that the process around the assessment of the child’s capacity to consent was not sufficient. Therefore, the claimant argued that the policy and practice permitted or encouraged illegality. If the policy or practice that is followed would lead to unlawful facts or decisions then that policy or practice would be unlawful.  The claimant went through GIDS guidance on obtaining consent and the process of assessing capacity. It stated that the standard operating…

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We welcome the proposal set forward in the Queen’s Speech to ban the horrendous practice that is so-called “conversion therapy”.  We, as LGBTIQ* people, are victim to “conversion therapy” if someone seeks to convert, cancel, cure, or change a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  We call for the Government to publish a full and comprehensive Bill, that bans conversion practices: 1. In all forms, 2. For all LGBTIQ+ people,  3. Of all ages,   4. In all settings. It is vital that all forms of so-called conversion therapy are banned, in all settings including psychological, medical, privately in families…

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The Cass Review has been launched in order to investigate the NHS’s provision for children and young people looking to access gender identity related healthcare. Dr Hilary Cass was appointed in late 2020 to chair this independent review by the NHS. The Review will take around 12 months to complete. Dr Cass has confirmed that this review will be listening to the lived experiences of children, families and clinicians who are involved in gender identity related healthcare. We welcome this news that transgender, non-binary and gender diverse children and young people and their families will be consulted throughout the process…

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NHS England has updated the guidelines it uses around ‘puberty blockers’ for under 16s. It follows a High Court case in late 2020 which effectively stopped trans young people getting vital access to medication without having to go to court first. Then, a High Court case in March, 2021, ruled that young people could get access to puberty blockers as long as they had the support of their parents/guardians and practitioners.  Now, after almost three weeks, NHS England has updated its guidelines to fall into line with the law. Let’s take a look at what’s changed and what it means…

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This blog post is now out of date. Please see this link for the latest information. It is now two weeks since the High Court ruled that parents could consent on their child’s behalf to Puberty Blockers, but still NHSE hasn’t changed its guidance to reflect the law. It is an extraordinary state of affairs for NHS England to be out of kilter with a High Court ruling for such a period of time, especially when we’re dealing with young people already suffering the impact of previous harmful decisions. Decisions which were, if you recall, enacted with blistering rapidity. On…

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This blog post is now out of date. Please see this link for the latest information. We welcome today’s High Court Family Division ruling that parents can consent to their children being prescribed puberty blockers without needing to go to court, and that puberty blockers are not a special category of treatment which has to be authorised by a court order. This is welcome news for those fearing the Keira Bell ruling would prevent them from accessing ‘puberty blockers’. “We feel a huge amount of relief having heard this news. My youngest is 12 and we were told just before…

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Today was an important day, as MPs in Parliament continue to search for the facts around trans lives, amidst ongoing misinformation and discrimination in society, in the media and – in some quarters – at Westminster. Primarily, the Women and Equalities Select Committee was gathering evidence around reform of the Gender Recognition Act. Lui Asquith, (they/them) Mermaids Director of Legal and Policy, gave evidence to the committee, representing trans children, young people and families. The two-hour session covered a wide range of issues related to gender identity, many of which have no connection to the Act itself. However, we’re pleased…

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As you will no doubt be aware, the census is live in the United Kingdom and must be filled out before 21 March 2021. The ONS has now clarified that sex should be recorded as that which is stated on an individual’s birth certificate. Millions of people across the UK have already completed the census, and we understand that the answers provided will be included by the ONS. It is not mandatory to read the ONS guidance before completing the census. Individuals must answer to the best of their knowledge and belief. You should not feel pressured to give an…

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UPDATE: A high court ruling on 26th march 2021 now alters the impact of the judicial review, likely meaning parents and guardians can, in most cases, consent to puberty blockers on behalf of their children without having to go to court. CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATE. What was the decision at the hearing 29/01/2021 and what does it mean? This was not the substantial hearing of the appeal, it was a case management hearing which essentially organises the case before it is heard in full. The 2 main questions being considered: Whether the Order would continue to be ‘stayed’ Who…

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UPDATE: A high court ruling on 26th march 2021 now alters the impact of the judicial review, likely meaning parents and guardians can, in most cases, consent to puberty blockers on behalf of their children without having to go to court. CLICK HERE TO READ THE UPDATE. To read a general summary of the High Court ruling, click here. The answers below reflect our current understanding of the new rules however please note this is a live situation and these may well be updated from time to time to reflect areas that have been clarified.  What was the decision at…

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