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Case No Unknown of 2019 – UAE

Litigation Degree: Third 
Case No: Unknown of 2019
Issuing Court: Federal Supreme Court
Judgment: Unfavourable, the request for legal gender recognition was denied
Judgment Date: 31/12/2019

The plaintiffs lodged a petition before the UAE judiciary seeking judicial authorization to undergo gender-affirming surgeries and amend their personal information in official documents to reflect their corrected gender. The plaintiffs received comprehensive treatment comprising hormonal therapy, surgical intervention, and behavioural counselling. Additionally, the court referred them to a specialised panel of medical practitioners to determine the presence of gender identity disorder and ascertain if it warranted sex correction. (Prior to commencing treatment in the United States of America), the court dismissed the petition, prompting the plaintiffs to file an appeal. However, the court rejected their appeal, leading them to further challenge the court’s decision before the Federal Supreme Court, which also dismissed their appeal.

The plaintiffs, “Salem,” “Ali,” and “Mohammed,” jointly filed a claim with the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of First Instance seeking court approval for gender-affirming healthcareand the corresponding change of their personal information in official documents, such as personal ID cards, passports, and birth certificates, to reflect their transition from female to male. Following a medical examination in the United States of America in 2016, which determined that they suffered from gender identity disorder, six medical committees confirmed that the plaintiffs had identified as male since childhood and adolescence. The case is founded on article 7 of Federal Decree-Law No. (4) of 2016, which mandates sex reassignment surgery for individuals who do not align with their chromosomal, biological, and physical traits. Additionally, the case is supported by the recognition that gender identity disorder is a biological characteristic and by an advisory opinion from the sharia committee of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, which permits gender correction procedures for individuals experiencing uncertainty regarding their gender identity.

The Abu Dhabi Federal Court rendered its decision on September 28, 2016, after subjecting the plaintiffs to a comprehensive medical evaluation conducted by a panel of specialized physicians. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the plaintiffs’ medical condition, including their gender dysphoria, and determine the urgent necessity of sex reassignment surgery. Dissatisfied with the court’s ruling, the plaintiffs filed an appeal. In March 2018, the Court of Appeal rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal and affirmed the judgment of the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of First Instance. Subsequently, it was decided that the three individuals would challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision before the Federal Supreme Court and request a medical examination to determine whether they suffered from gender identity disorder. However, on December 31, 2019, the Federal Supreme Court rejected their appeal and upheld the initial judgment of the Federal Court and the subsequent decision of the Court of Appeal.

  • “”الاتحادية” ترفض طلب تحويل “جنس” ثلاث فتيات إلى ذكور.” الإمارات ٧. 01 يناير 2019. 
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