Legal gender recognition in times of change at the European Court of Human Rights


The COVID-19 pandemic has made the role of identity papers for the enjoyment of human rights once more obvious. It is thus a suitable moment to analyse the current implementation of the right to change the gender and/or name on official documents and civil registries in Europe. This article specifically examines the jurisprudence on the right to gender recognition of the European Court of Human Rights. It concludes that the Court is moving towards recognising the right to change one’s legal gender and/or name on an unconditional basis, and that it will need to deliberate on the right to be free from any state-imposed gender label in the future.