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Case No 54406/2007 – Tunisia

Litigation Degree: First
Case No: 54406/2007
Issuing Court: Court of First Instances
Judgment: Favorable request for document change was granted; however, the plaintiff was intersex and not transgender
Judgment Date: 12/02/2007

The plaintiffs filed a claim before the Tunisian court to change their baby’s documents, namely his sex and name, from female to male, as he suffered from sexual ambiguity that had begun to appear over time since birth. After undergoing numerous medical examinations and cosmetic procedures, the child was found to be male rather than female. The court therefore accepted the case, but the court did not recognize that this case was a case of sexual ambiguity, but only pointed out that it was a technical error by the doctors.

A child was born at the regional hospital in Gafsa on 31/7/2006, but it was established that the child suffered from sexual ambiguity, thus the doctor was confused when determining his sex at the time of birth. It was initially determined that the newborn was female, but after having undergone numerous examinations and analyses, the doctors confirmed that the newborn was male rather than female, according to a medical report issued on 25/12/2006. Therefore, the parents decided to change the name and sex of birth from “Sakina” to the new desired name, and the sex from female to male through the civil status officer of the municipality of Gafsa. The plaintiffs subsequently filed a claim before the court of first instance.

The Tunisian Court of First Instance decided on 12/2/2007 in the city of Beja, Tunisia, to accept the claim and order the change of birth certificate no. 2019 in 2006. The decision was made after confirmation of the nature of the child’s sex from medical reports and examinations, including a procedure carried out to reveal his male genitals. The Court’s decision also relied on the plaintiff’s young age and non-attachment to the sex assigned to him at birth, based on the Civil Status Act No. 3 of 1975 concerning name and sex determination based on Islamic sharia law, but did not address the situation of those suffering from gender identity disorder or sexual ambiguity, which is generally lacking in Arabic legislation.

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