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Case No. Unknown of 2017 – Bahrain

Litigation Degree: Third
Case No: Unknown of 2017
Issuing Court: High Administrative Court 
Judgement: Unfavourable, the request for legal gender recognition was denied
Judgement Date: 2017

The plaintiff lodged a claim before the Bahraini Sharia High Court, initially seeking the court’s authorization to undergo a gender-affirming surgery from female to male and subsequently amend his personal information in official records. The court required a medical evaluation to be conducted prior to issuing a verdict. Accordingly, the applicant underwent a medical examination, which revealed a diagnosis of gender identity disorder. However, the plaintiff’s biological and chromosomal characteristics remained female. Following gender-affirming surgery in Munich to align the plaintiff’s gender with his desired identity, the court conducted another medical examination, which produced the same previous diagnosis. As a result, the claim was dismissed by the Administrative Superior Court (after the Sharia High Court determined that it lacked jurisdiction).

The plaintiff initiated a lawsuit before the Bahraini court, seeking to undergo the requisite medical evaluations and tests, including a three-member medical committee, to ascertain their eligibility for gender reassignment surgery from female to male. Furthermore, the plaintiff seeks to update their personal information, namely name and sex, on official documents such as the birth certificate, passport, personal identification card, and driver’s licence. The plaintiff asserted that they have exhibited masculine characteristics since adolescence and have undergone medical assessments confirming a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. It is noteworthy that the plaintiff underwent surgical interventions in Munich on 16 January 2010. The court initially reviewed the plaintiff’s pre- and post-operative medical evaluations and rendered the same judgement in both instances.

The Bahraini High Administrative Court has ruled in favour of dismissing the case, based on the grounds that the biological, chromosomal, and hormonal reports, along with the medical examinations conducted pre and post-surgical procedures, have confirmed the presence of female characteristics and organs. Consequently, the Court has determined that there is no immediate medical imperative for a sex change. Furthermore, the Court explicitly highlighted that it permits surgical procedures and the alteration of documents solely in instances of sexual deformity, not in cases of gender identity disorder.  

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