The Gender Recognition Panel is a branch of HM Courts & Tribunal Service under the presidency of Judge Jeremy Bennett. It is formed from an administrative team (Managed by Rachel Dunn) and a judicial panel (under the auspices of the Deputy President, Paula Gray), made up of legal and medical members. More details about the organisation may be found on the Tribunals Service website.
The application for a Gender Recognition Certificate is a legal process. To grant a Certificate the panel has to be satisfied that an applicant complies with the provisions of the Gender Recognition Act and in particular the requirements set out in Sections 2 and 3. It is important to remember that although times have changed around social issues the law that is worked with does not correspond to that change
The civil servants work directly with the applicants and do an excellent job in assisting applicants to put their information together in the most favourable way. However, they are not legally trained and their opinion, however well informed, has no legal import. It is a matter for the judicial panel to make the final decision.
The members of the panel are independent members of the Tribunal judiciary. Applications are dealt with on the basis of the papers you submit although in exceptional circumstances an oral hearing can take place.
Address: Gender Recognition Panel, PO Box 9300, Leicester, LE1 8DJ
The Panel Review
Although the GRP is based in Leicester the panels meet in London. The civil servants in Leicester send the judiciary a batch of (typically) fourteen applications for consideration in one session. Panels are currently running at three times each month. Note the civil servants are not party to the cogitations of the panel and have no influence and little more insight (apart from familiarity with the process) into the outcome than you.
If the panel views your application as completely acceptable they will issue a “decision” and the relevant certificate (interim or full) will be sent to you within two weeks of the panel date. If a full certificate is issued this office will, unless you have advised them you wish to do this yourself, inform HMRC, and arrange for a new birth certificate be issued by the General Register.
If you are over 18 years old and have lived in your chosen gender for more than 2 years, or you have changed gender in certain countries outside the UK and you want to have your new gender recognised in the UK, you can apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a gender recognition certificate. The Gender Recognition Panel, part of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, assesses applications from trans people to provide legal recognition of gender change.
To make an application you must be able to show:
- You have, or have had, gender dysphoria
- You have lived fully for the last two years in your acquired gender
- You intend to live permanently in your acquired gender
If applying from outside the UK you must show that you have been recognised in your acquired gender.
The application process for obtaining a Gender Recognition certificate can be found here
The process usually is around 14 weeks in total for a hearing. However, if the panel is not satified that the application meets the legal criteria and written directions are issued the application will be placed back in the queue. To save yourself timeit is advisable to check everything carefully before submitting the application including providing a good selection of supporting evidence.
The GRP is definitely minded to grant applications, wherever legally possible, which is why directions are given rather than making final decisions which might not be in favour of the applicant. So despite the high rate of requests for further information very few applications actually fail outright. In most cases the issues are around information not being submitted correctly, the most common one of late being the stat dec form not being filled out correctly and/or not witnessed and signed in the prescence of someone qualified to do so.
Statistics From the Gender Recognition Panel
The latest Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) Statistics have been published. The period covers July to September 2015 In that time:
- 99 applications were received, up 30% from last year
- 95 were standard track, 2 were alternative track and 2 were overseas track
- Final decisions were made on 83 applications
- 76 full GRCs were issued, 1 interim GRC was issued, 4 applications were refused, 1 application was withdrawn and 1 was cancelled as they did not pay the fee
- Of the 76 full GRCs, 52 were granted to people becoming legally female and 24 were granted to people becoming legally male
- Of the 76 full GRCs, 63 were granted to people who were neither married or in a civil partnership, and 13 were granted to people who were married
Full details can be found in chapter 5 of the report at on the Ministry of Justice website: Tribunals and Gender Recognition Certificate Statistics Quarterly July to September 2015 (PDF).
A Note on Serial Numbers
It has been noticed that the serial numbers on new certificates are larger than the number of certificates issued. The GRC’s originally started at serial number 000101 but a few certificates were destroyed. The same serial sequence is also used for the overseas certificates. Interim Certificates have a separate sequence again starting at 000101.
Each serial number is issued just once. If an organisation wants to confirm the validity of a certificate, then with the applicant’s permission the GRP can use the serial number as one of the ways to check.
if you would like to share your experiences in any dealings with with the Gender Recognition Panel, positive or otherwise, with us please send us an email via our Contact Us page.
The Gender Recognition Panel
Please note that any complaints or concerns about a current application should be communicated directly to the Tribunial Service via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gender Recognition Certificates are issued in accordance with the Gender Recognition Act.