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Case No 24/1998 – Kuwait

Litigation Degree: Second
Case No: 24/1998
Issuing Court: Court of Appeals
Judgment: Unfavorable, the request for legal gender recognition was denied
Judgment Date: 18/05/1998

Both the Court of First Instance and the Kuwaiti Court of Appeals have rejected the plaintiff’s motion to modify his fundamental information on official and identification documents. This ruling is in spite of the fact that the plaintiff underwent a gender-affirming procedure from female to male and submitted medical evidence substantiating the existence of dual organs, which were subsequently rectified by a medical practitioner. Nonetheless, the court dismissed the appeal based on the justification of upholding Islamic Sharia law and declining to alter the divine creation. The medical documentation presented by the petitioner was determined to be fraudulent.

The petitioner filed a motion with the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance requesting a legal change of their name and gender from female to male as indicated in the official records. This application is based on the petitioner’s surgical procedure to remove female reproductive organs and establish male reproductive organs in their place. The petitioner supported their motion with two medical reports, which confirmed the petitioner’s inherent dual male and female biological characteristics since birth, and also their diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a psychiatric condition frequently encountered by transgender individuals.

The Court of First Instance dismissed the plaintiff’s claim, and the plaintiff filed an appeal. However, the Court of Appeals also rejected the plaintiff’s application based on the following reasons: 1. The plaintiff’s reports were found to be false. The doctor who performed the surgeries stated that both female and male organs were present, but the medical examination revealed otherwise. 2. The Court did not take into consideration the physical changes resulting from the surgeries. 3. The Court deemed the surgical change undergone by the plaintiff as an alteration of Allah’s creation without medical necessity. The Court considered gender identity disorder as insufficient grounds for a sex change. Additionally, the Court held that a sex change is a violation of Sharia law.

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