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Transsexual discrimination: Transsexual entitled to recognition of reassigned gender

This report relates to 1 case(s)

Key Points

In A v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police and another, the House of Lords holds:

  • Applying the proper interpretation of the Equal Treatment Directive as expressed by the European Court of Justice in P v S [1996] IRLR 347 and KB v National Health Service Pension Agency and another [2004] IRLR 240, search duties under s.54 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 ("PACE") must be interpreted as applying to a transsexual in his or her reassigned gender, meaning that a post-operative male-to-female transsexual could lawfully carry out s.54 searches of women, as a woman.
  • This being the case, it could not be said that it was a genuine occupational qualification (under s.7 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975) for becoming a police officer that one's legal and apparent gender must be the same,
    and that such a qualification could not be met by a post-operative male-to-female transsexual.
  • Accordingly, to refuse to employ a post-operative male-to-female transsexual as a police officer on the basis that there was such a genuine occupational qualification was an act of unlawful discrimination, and the chief constable's appeal against this finding would be dismissed.