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Case No 2092/2014 – Jordan

Litigation Degree: Third
Case No:
Issuing Court:
Court of Cassation
Favourable request for documents change was granted; however, the Court justified its decision by stating that the plaintiff was intersex, not transgender
Judgment Date:

The Jordanian Court of Cassation has granted the claim of a young woman who submitted her documents to request the amendment of her primary personal information in official documents to accurately reflect her gender change from male to female. This ruling represents a significant milestone in Jordanian legal history and is in conformity with the legislation promulgated by the Jordanian Parliament, which criminalises sex reassignment and imposes penalties of up to 10 years of imprisonment for offenders, except in cases involving intersex individuals. Consequently, it is unsurprising that the plaintiff sought to undergo gender transition procedures overseas in order to ensure her safety, given the unavailability of such medical procedures in Jordan. Before returning to Jordan, she underwent hormone therapy and surgical interventions in Australia. The Court recognized the potential confusion that medical professionals may encounter when determining a person’s assigned sex at birth, since the differentiation between female and male reproductive organs may only become apparent during puberty.

The plaintiff (born in 1977) initiated legal proceedings before the Jordanian courts seeking a name and gender change in official records, specifically from male to female. The plaintiff acknowledged a longstanding gender dysphoria which had, since childhood, caused a persistent identification as female within a male body. Due to the unavailability of essential healthcare methods in Jordan and other Arab countries, the plaintiff made the decision to undergo gender-affirming treatment in Australia. During this process, the plaintiff underwent numerous medical examinations and tests, all of which confirmed the absence of any psychiatric disorders. Moreover, these examinations validated the predominance of female characteristics over male characteristics during the plaintiff’s puberty. Consequently, the plaintiff subsequently underwent hormonal and surgical interventions.

The Jordanian Court of Cassation, on the 12th of October, 2014, issued a landmark decision by accepting the case and granting the plaintiff’s request to amend her name and gender in her official documents to align with her gender identity and transition from male to female. The court justified its ruling by acknowledging that the determination of a newborn’s sex can be complex for medical professionals due to the occurrence of intersex traits, which can lead to ambiguity. Therefore, the court deemed it appropriate to uphold the plaintiff’s claim.

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