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Bills and Laws

Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill

The Bill changes the process to get a gender recognition certificate (GRC). A GRC is a certificate that legally recognises that a person’s gender is not the gender that they were assigned at birth, but is their “acquired gender”.

The current process for obtaining a GRC is set out in the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This Bill amends that Act to make a new process in Scotland.

The Bill sets out:

  • who can apply for a GRC
  • how to make an application
  • the grounds on which an application is to be granted

It also makes provision about:

  • different types of GRC that may be issued in different circumstances (“full” GRCs and “interim” GRCs)
  • appeals and reviews of decisions to grant (or not grant) GRCs
  • revocation of a GRC and offences in connection with false information being provided in an application

Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill as introduced

The Bill is at Stage 1


Contents


Overview

The Bill changes the process to get a gender recognition certificate (GRC). A GRC is a certificate that legally recognises that a person’s gender is not the gender that they were assigned at birth, but is their “acquired gender”.

The current process for obtaining a GRC is set out in the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This Bill amends that Act to make a new process in Scotland.

The Bill sets out:

  • who can apply for a GRC
  • how to make an application
  • the grounds on which an application is to be granted

It also makes provision about:

  • different types of GRC that may be issued in different circumstances (“full” GRCs and “interim” GRCs)
  • appeals and reviews of decisions to grant (or not grant) GRCs
  • revocation of a GRC and offences in connection with false information being provided in an application

Why the Bill was created

The Bill aims to improve the process for people applying for legal gender recognition. The Scottish Government considers that the current system is intrusive and can take a long time, which can have a negative impact on applicants. The Government has two specific concerns, which the Bill would mitigate:

  • current rules require a medical diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” and supporting evidence with the application
  • 16 and 17 year olds are not currently allowed to apply for a GRC, which the Government believes is a further negative impact on trans young people

The Government considers that the process set out in the Bill is a balanced and proportionate way of improving the current process of obtaining legal gender recognition. The Government also has included two elements to the Bill to ensure that the process will continue to be a significant step:

  • the existing requirement for a statutory declaration has been retained
  • offences have been created relating to giving false information in an application

The Bill also aims to simplify the process, which the Scottish Government considers to be complex.