Gender Recognition Panel decision set aside by the Family Division of the High Court in successful pro bono appeal under the Gender Recognition Act 2004

39 Essex Chambers member Lisa Giovannetti KC, DAC Beachcroft and One Pump Court have successfully represented a pro bono client in her appeal against a decision by the Gender Recognition Panel (GRP) to refuse to grant a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

A GRC allows people in England and Wales to have their affirmed gender legally recognised. Once granted, the person's acquired gender becomes their sex "for all purposes".

At the time of making the application, the appellant – known as AB – had lived as female for more than a decade. Despite providing evidence in support of her application, the GRP refused to issue a GRC on the basis that the evidence was insufficient.

Allowing the appeal on all three grounds, Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, and Mrs Justice Lieven found that the GRP had erred in its approach to the evidence necessary to determine whether an individual was "living in the acquired gender".

The GRP's decision was also found to be procedurally unfair as AB had not been given the opportunity to address the panel's concerns.

The court set the GRP's decision aside and granted the GRC.

AB says, "I would like to thank everyone for their pro bono support with this whole matter. I saw a lot of work going into this case, and it means a lot that you were there to help me."

The counsel team was led by Lisa Giovannetti KC from 39 Essex Chambers, acting pro bono, and was instructed by Partner Alistair Robertson, Legal Director Sophie Devlin, Senior Associate Amy Smith and Trainee Solicitor Awen Edwards from DACB, successfully securing the appeal in favour of their client.