Updates on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill

Date: 17th January 2023
Category: General principles

'Gender identity'

The Bill, which will amend the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and reform the process by which transgender people can obtain legal gender recognition, was recently passed by the Scottish Parliament and is now subject to an intervention by UK Government.

The Bill will reduce the age at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate lowering the minimum age from 18 to 16 reflecting wider Scots law on legal capacity.

These changes will also reduce the time someone must have been living in their gender before they can apply to update the sex on their birth certificate, from two years to three months - or six months for 16- and 17-year-olds.

However, the UK Government has recently intervened using powers under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 to prevent the Bill from proceeding to Royal Assent. According to a statement made by the UK Government’sScottish Secretary this intervention is due to concern over the bill overstepping its boundaries in equalitywhich is a reserved matter and asks for an amended bill which is in line with devolution arrangements.