Thursday 30 November 2017

The Commission welcomes today’s decision of the Full Court of the Family Court in the matter of Re Kelvin.

The Court has found that court authorisation is no longer required for hormonal treatment for young people with gender dysphoria, where there is no dispute between parents, medical practitioners and the young person and where the treatment to be administered is in accordance with published best practice guidelines.

The Commission intervened in this matter to assist the Court in its deliberations, as it has done in previous cases involving applications for treatment for gender dysphoria.

Human Rights Commissioner, Edward Santow, said today’s decision will remove a major barrier faced by young transgender people and their families.

“This decision will improve human rights protection for young transgender people in Australia. It also brings Australia in line with recommendations by the United Nations.”

The UN Human Rights Committee recently recommended Australia “consider ways to expedite access to stage two hormone treatment for gender dysphoria, including by removing the need for court authorisation”, in cases where the treatment is provided in line with medical guidelines and with the consent of the young person, parents and their medical team.“The Commission looks forward to engaging with the intersex community to consider the possible implications of the decision for young people with intersex variations”, Commissioner Santow said.

National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, welcomed the decision, saying it was consistent with Australia’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The decision recognises our obligations to protect and promote children’s rights to health, non-discrimination, the preservation of their identity and to participate in decisions that affect them,” Commissioner Mitchell said.
“The process of seeking court authorisation can cause distress for young people and their families due to financial costs and delays in treatment.

“Today’s decision will have a significant, positive impact on the health and wellbeing of trans young people.”

The Full Court’s decision is available  here.