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Beyond the Binary: Towards a ‘Third’ Sex Category in Germany?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-648
Number of pages22
JournalGerman Law Journal
Issue number3
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Apr 2018
DatePublished (current) - 4 Jun 2018


This Case Note discusses the recent judgment of the German Constitutional Court (1 BvR 2019/16) requiring either the legal recognition of sex categories beyond male or female, or the aboltion of sex registration requirements. The Note considers the Court’s decision within the broader constitutional case law on gender identity, and explores both the progressive potential, and the future—perhaps unforeseen—consequences, of the ruling. The Case Note proceeds in three sections. Section A introduces the facts of the constitutional challenge, and sets out both the submissions of the complainant, as well as the reasoning of the Constitutional Court. In Section B, the Case Note explores the domestic law novelty of the decision, placing particular emphasis on the application of a constitutional equality framework to persons who experience intersex variance. Finally, in Section C, the Case Note contextualizes the judgment, situating the reasoning of the Constitutional Court within wider movements for transgender—otherwise known as trans1—and intersex rights.

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  • LAW Centre for Health, Law, and Society

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