Seminar 5th Feb 2015 (Trans)Gender Recognition in Germany: The Role of the German Courts

UCD SSLThe Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) and UCD Human Rights Network and UCD Sutherland School of Law invites you to a keynote address from Prof. Dr. Johanna Schmidt-Räntsch, Judge of the German Supreme Court, on

“(Trans)Gender Recognition in Germany: The Role of the German Courts”

Date: Thursday, 05 February 2015

Time: 6.30pm-8.30pm

Location: William Fry Theatre, UCD Sutherland School of Law (directions and map)

A reception will follow Prof. Dr. Schmidt-Räntsch’s keynote address.

2 CPD Points available for practitioners

There is no charge for this event, however registration is required. You can register here. For registration enquires, please contact . This event will be of interest to the Trans community, LGBTQQ activists, judges, lawyers, government and public administration officials, academics and students.

The Keynote Address

The Oireachtas begins 2015 with debates on the first ever legislation to officially recognise transgender persons in Ireland, the Gender Recognition Bill 2014. There is concern about some clauses of the proposed Bill, with transgender persons arguing that they are too restrictive and would exclude some people (see, here and here). A particularly contentious clause would require transgender persons who are already married or in a civil partnership to divorce as a pre-condition for recognition in their preferred gender.

What can we learn from the experience of other European countries like Germany, where the Constitutional Court struck down a similar ‘compulsory divorce’ provision and other provisions of the German Transsexual Law as being in breach of the German Constitution or Basic Law? Judge Schmidt-Räntsch will discuss the German experience of gender recognition legislation and fundamental rights.


Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness, former Judge of the Irish Supreme Court.

Other Contributors:

Michael Farrell (FLAC)

Broden Giambrone (Transgender Equality Network Ireland)

About the Keynote

 Prof. Dr. Johanna Schmidt-Räntsch has been a judge of the German Federal Supreme Court since 2002. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Germany for criminal and private law matters. Dr Schmidt-Räntsch is also a professor of law at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She is an expert on the German Judiciary Act and co-author of the leading text on the Act and is also an expert on property law. Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, she was a senior advisor to the German Federal Justice Department from 1991 to 2002 and prior to that she was a judge in the higher regional court of Cologne and in Bonn.

About the Chair

Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness is a former Independent Senator in the Seanad (1979-1987); former President of the Law Reform Commission, a former judge of the Circuit Court (1994-1996), the first woman to serve on the Court, and justice of the High Court (1996-2000) and of the Supreme Court (2000-2006).

 Other Contributors

Michael Farrell is the senior solicitor with Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) and in that capacity he has been the solicitor representing Dr Lydia Foy in her struggle for legal recognition in her female gender since 2005. He was formerly a solicitor in private practice and took cases to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Committee on Social Rights. He is a member of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance and was a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission from 2001 to 2011. He is a former Chairperson of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

Broden Giambrone is the Chief Executive of TENI and has over ten years experience working with trans communities in Ireland and Canada. Prior to moving to Ireland, he worked in Toronto and Montreal where he co-founded and served on several Steering Committees of voluntary organisations (including Trans PULSE and the Gay/Bi/Queer Trans Men HIV Prevention Working Group). Broden holds a Master’s in Public Health (Health Promotion) from the University of Toronto, which focused on Community Development and Policy development in the field of trans health. In 2009, he was awarded a fellowship from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in Public Health Policy. Broden has been published in numerous academic journals such as BMC Family Practice, Journal of Community Psychology, Action Research Journal and the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. He has also written opinion editorials for the Irish Times, Irish Sun and GCN.


Seminar 5th Feb 2015 (Trans)Gender Recognition in Germany: The Role of the German Courts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *