In June 2017, the Inter-departmental Working Group on Gender Recognition released a consultation paper (the ‘Consultation Paper’) on gender recognition and invited views on a number of issues concerning legal gender recognition, including whether a gender recognition scheme should be established in Hong Kong and, if so, the contents of the scheme.
The Consultation Paper posed a number of consultation questions, including questions on the different approaches towards gender recognition:
a) a self-declaration model, which allows change of gender identity by means of the applicant submitting a specific declaration self-identifying in a particular gender without any medical intervention requirements, personal status restrictions or any procedural complexity;
b) a surgery-free but otherwise detailed model requiring medical evidence, such as proof of diagnosis of gender dysphoria or transsexualism and proof of real life test;
c) a surgery-requiring model, but with fewer other medical evidence requirements, though including certain other restrictions, such as marital status exclusion; and
d) a model which includes a wide range of requirements like Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, marital status exclusion, etc.
The Council has reviewed the consultation paper with the assistance of the Family Law Committee and the Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Committee. The Law Society is of the view that Hong Kong should have a gender-recognition scheme, and that any model for the scheme that mandates medical treatment such as SRS should be rejected.
The Law Society’s detailed comments are available at: