News — Analysis

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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This blog post is now out of date.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This blog post is now out of date.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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KB V TAVISTOCK AND PORTMAN TRUST, Dec 1st, 2020 Analysis by the Mermaids Legal and Policy Unit This blog post is now out of date. Please see this link for the latest information. Important Update Further to the High Court decision on 1 December 2020, NHS England published amendments to its Service Specification for Gender Identity Development Services for Children and Adolescents. This is a short but concerning document that we would encourage all viewers to read themselves. We have also published a Q&A with an aim to bring together the High Court judgment and the Specification amendments. Please note that we are working hard to clarify…

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Keep up to date with analysis on this landmark case for youth access to trans healthcare. BRIEFING: SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST PROCEEDINGS IN DETAIL FROM MERMAIDS DIRECTOR OF LEGAL, LUI ASQUITH WHAT IS A JUDICIAL REVIEW? Lui Asquith, Mermaids Director of legal & Policy, explains: A judicial review is a way for people to seek a remedy if they’ve been affected by a public body’s decision, action or failure to act. Anyone can apply to the High Court, which may provide a remedy if it decides that the authority has acted unlawfully. The case is being brought by Keira Bell…

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