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England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions >> Carpenter v Secretary of State for Justice  EWHC 4421 (Fam) (03 October 2012)
Cite as:  EWHC 4421 (Fam)
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B e f o r e :
(sitting throughout in public)
| MS HELEN CARPENTER
|- and -
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR JUSTICE
8th Floor, 165 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7421 4036 Fax No: 020 7404 1424
Web: www.merrillcorp.com/mls Email: email@example.com
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR BRENDON MCGURK appeared on behalf of the respondent.
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE HOLMAN:
"8(1) An applicant to a gender recognition panel…may appeal to the High Court…on a point of law against a decision by the panel to reject the application."
"A person of either gender who is aged at least 18 may make an application for a gender recognition certificate on the basis of -
(a) living in the other gender…"
Section 1(2) provides that:
"In this Act "the acquired gender", in relation to a person by whom an application under sub-section 1 is or has been made, means -
(a) in the case of an application under paragraph (a) of that sub-section, the gender in which the person is living…"
Section 1(3) provides that an application under sub-section (1) is to be determined by a gender recognition panel; and section 1(4) provides that Schedule 1 to the Act, which makes provision for gender recognition panels, shall have effect.
"In the case of an application under section 1(1)(a), the panel must grant the application if satisfied that the applicant -
(a) has or has had gender dysphoria,
(b) has lived in the acquired gender throughout the period of two years ending with the date on which the application is made,
(c) intends to continue to live in the acquired gender until death, and
(d) complies with the requirements imposed by and under section 3."
"The panel must reject an application under section 1(1) if not required by sub-section (1) or (2) to grant it."
"And sub-section (1) is not complied with in a case where -
(a) the applicant has undergone or is undergoing treatment for the purpose of modifying sexual characteristics or
(b) treatment for that purpose has been prescribed or planned for the applicant, unless at least one of the reports required by that sub-section includes details of it."
Helen Carpenter shall provide a report from a registered medical practitioner providing details of the surgery and treatment she has undergone to change sexual characteristics or is planned.
The reports of Dr Thomas and Dr Ostick do not contain details of surgery or treatment that Helen Carpenter has had or is planned to change sexual characteristics."
"I reviewed her in January 2006. She had undergone gender reassignment surgery on 3 August 2005. This would have amounted to:…"
The more precise forms of surgery are then set out. Pausing there, I understand that the reference by Dr Barrett to the surgery being on 3 August 2005 was in fact mistaken. The correct date was, as I earlier said, 14 October 2005, although nothing turns on that difference in dates.
the panel a further pro-forma medical report by her GP, Dr Susan Ostick, dated 9 September 2011. So far as is material, that includes the following:
"Helen underwent reassignment surgery on 23 August 2005 [again an erroneous date]…I can confirm that I have examined Helen in the course of my dealings with her and that gender reassignment surgery has been undertaken…I do not have the exact details of [the] operation but suggest you contact Mr J Berringer, consultant Urologist who carried out the surgery…"
Full details of the gender reassignment surgery that the applicant has had are still required. A short letter from Mr Berringer with these would be sufficient. Alternatively, a report from the GP with the details would suffice, taken either from the notes or from examination.
The further report from the applicant's GP does not give details of the surgery she has had. In order to comply with the statutory requirements, these are necessary."
"The panel was not satisfied that you had produced evidence to meet the requirement of section 3. There was a report from Dr Barrett giving details of the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. In the penultimate paragraph he confirms that gender reassignment surgery has taken place. He is unable to state as a fact what surgical procedures were undertaken and uses the term, 'This would have amounted to'. The panel took this to be an assumption rather than a statement of facts. Neither the letter from Dr Thomas…or from Dr Ostick…give details of the surgical procedures undertaken. It was the opinion of the panel at that stage that the requirements of section 3 were not met."
"(i) Any application under section 1(1) must include - (a) a statutory declaration as to whether or not the applicant is married …, (b) any other information or evidence required by an order made by the Secretary of State, and (c) any other information or evidence which the panel which is to determine the application may require,
(ii) and may include any other information or evidence which the applicant wishes to include."
"(i) Where a statement of the reasons for a decision is given later than the notice of that decision, the period for filing the appellant's notice is calculated from the date on which the statement is received by the appellant."