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Lord Blencathra's proposed amendment (97ZA) to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Statement by Trans Legal Project, January 11th, 2022

We are delighted that yet another attempt to roll back the rights of transgender people in the UK has failed. Casting all trans people as potentially violent sexual predators, as this House of Lords amendment sought to do, flies directly in the face of the law and of basic fairness. It would have seen all trans people who were charged with an offence assigned by default to prisons of their birth sex. This would have happened irrespective of their legal gender including to those holding a Gender Recognition Certificate, the (possibly many) years since they had successfully transitioned, or the severity or nature of their crime. It would also have included those held on remand who may subsequently have been found entirely innocent. When April Ashley was arrested, decades ago, after living as a woman for 30 years, she was placed in a male facility. The people behind this amendment wish to return to this era. All women deserve to feel safe in prison. With respect to the allocation of the very small number of trans prisoners currently held in custody, the current case-by-case system works and is supported by prison governors. We now look forward to the members of the House of Lords who seem recently to have developed a keen interest in the rights of women prisoners to demonstrate their commitment by supporting any of the excellent penal reform charities that do vital work in this field.

Trans Legal Project

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The Trans Legal Project blog is a place where we express opinions and offer commentary on aspects of the law, recent or upcoming cases etc.

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