The French National Assembly will debate this week a proposal that could introduce for the first time a gender recognition procedure in the country. The proposal foresees a self-declaratory juridical procedure. Accordingly, an individual could start a procedure before the prosecutor, if accompanied by one of the following forms of evidence:
– Certificates or evidence that the person is known in the self-determined gender identity in the sphere of family, friends or workplace;
– Medical affidavits that medical treatment has been started or completed;
– Documents or correspondence stating that the person is known by the claimed identity;
– Court decisions asserting the individual has suffered from trans-related discrimination;
– Decisions about a Name Change (change to a name corresponding to the gender identity requested).
The proposal states very clearly that refusal to provide medical document cannot be used to deny a request.
French trans civil society is split in its support for the proposal as being too rudimentary. While it might be the last chance for introducing a law in the current legislature, they criticize that an application has to be made before the Prosecutor. Also, the procedure would be limited to adults. French trans rights activists call upon the parliamentarians to continue the conversation with civil society for a more comprehensive law.
The proposal is part of a larger justice reform project.
The European Court of Human Rights – EctHR reprobated France in 1992 for not allowing a trans person to adapt their identity documents. No legislation has been introduced since. Today, three cases are pending before the EctHR challenging the sterilisation requirement in French case law.