Clifford Chance loses X gender case
29 June 2018
Clifford Chance has lost a high court challenge calling on the UK government to offer gender-neutral passports.
The Magic Circle firm argued in the Administrative Court that Her Majesty's Passport Office is breaching the right to private life under the European Convention on Human Rights by requiring applicants to identify as either male or female on their passports. There are currently ten countries that permit a third category X, or unknown, on passports.
The Administrative Court upheld Home Office policy to deny new "x-passports" being issued in the UK. Counsel for the government had submitted that current policy was necessary to maintain "an administratively coherent system for the recognition of gender
" and combat identity theft and fraud, as well as to ensure border security.
||The Home Office reacts.
Clifford Chance and barristers from Blackstone Chambers are acting on behalf of Christie Elan-Cane whose "non-gendered" campaign seeks legal recognition for individuals who don't identify as either gender. Senior Associate Eraldo d'Atri, who has led on the Team-X case, told RollOnFriday that they were "disappointed
" with the judgment as "unlike many other countries
" the UK has denied "non-gendered citizens a passport that reflects their true identity
d'Atri said that that despite the outcome, the judgment set a new precedent, since the court had for the first time recognised that the European Convention on Human Rights "guarantees a right to respect for non-gendered identity
". He said that this is a "crucial first step
" in the legal recognition of non-gendered people. d'Atri added that the firm and Elan-Cane are considering whether to to appeal the judgment.
Elsewhere, there was good news for CC, as the SRA closed its probe into whether the Magic Circle firm ignored a bricklayer's allegations that RBS deliberately bankrupted his business