The High Court in Dublin has delayed a judgment due today in a landmark case involving a trans person’s right to a new birth certificate.
Dr Lydia Foy, a dentist from Athy, Co. Kildare, is claiming that the failure of the Irish government to take action is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003.
Mr Justice Liam McKechnie told parties to the case that he will reveal his decision in the third week of October.
Dr Foy changed her name to Lydia in 1993 and has previously been issued with an Irish passport and driving licence in which she is identified as female.
She also obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate in the UK, but the High Court in Dublin have questioned the relevance of the document in the Republic of Ireland.
When obtaining the certificate, Dr Foy stated that she was unmarried, despite the fact that she married in 1977 and fathered two daughters.
In 2002, Dr Foy was refused a direction by the courts to the Registrar of Births to describe Dr Foy as female on her birth certificate.
Just days after that High Court decision the European Court of Human Rights ruled on a landmark case.
The UK’s refusal to give transgender people new birth certificates breached their rights to marry and to respect for privacy under the Convention, the European court ruled.
At that time the High Court urged the Irish government to take action, but nothing has been done in the intervening five years, so Dr Foy has returned to court.
During the hearing in April counsel for a Anne Foy, who is legally separated from Dr Foy, told High Court that a ruling in favour of Dr Foy would create “enormous uncertainty.”
She may not have even been legally married, as the Irish state only recognises a marriage between people of the opposite sex.
Her divorce from Dr Foy might also be affected by a ruling that favours her former husband.