Until 2015, Ireland was the only country in the EU that made no provision for the legal recognition of transgender people. On foot of a successful case brought by Dr. Lydia Foy before the Irish courts, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and FLAC sought to address this inequality through the introduction of legislation.
PILA formed a Law Reform Working Group with TENI, FLAC and David Dodd BL, a barrister on the PILA Pro Bono Register. They worked together to draft a Private Member’s Bill on gender recognition, which was subsequently proposed in the Seanad by Independent Senator Katherine Zappone.
The Bill, together with the ongoing FLAC-supported Foy litigation, increased pressure on the Government to publish an outline of potential gender recognition legislation, which they eventually did in July 2013. Although the fight for adequate gender recognition spanned another two years, according to Broden Giambrone, Director of TENI, “the collaboration with PILA, FLAC, David Dodd BL and Katherine Zappone [was] a fantastic experience and a great opportunity for TENI. The individual experience that each of us brought to the table created a strong foundation on which to build legislation. By building our knowledge we formed robust, rights-based draft legislation that set a high bar for gender recognition in Europe. We were all strengthened by our partnership”.