Author Archive

16 Days: Day 17 – Violence Against Transgender People

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Over the past two and a half weeks, this blog has marked the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence event by highlighting many of the campaigns and issues touching on violence against women. The focus of these posts has been on violence against women as this is the theme of this year’s event. However, a notable exception to this discussion has been the issue of violence against transgender people.

Transphobia encompasses not just the revulsion and irrational fears of transgender and transsexual people, but also includes cross dressers, feminine men, and masculine women. Therefore, it covers complex issues of gender roles and gender identities.

Transgender people are often denied legal recognition in their preferred gender identity. Such is the legal situation in Ireland, as has been discussed on this blog here and here. Yet, the prejudices and injustices experienced by transgender people are not limited to the lack of legal recognition.

Violence, based on their gendered status, is regularly experienced by many transgender people. November 20th last, marked the 11th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which commemorates the fact that every day, all over the world, thousands of trans people are excluded, persecuted, hated, mistreated, subjected to aggression and routinely murdered or driven to suicide because of the transphobia of others.

Recently, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland published an excellent report ‘Transphobia in Ireland’. We want to draw readers’ attention to this much needed research.

ISEL Lecture on Constitutional Courts and the Lisbon Treaty

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Given previous commentary on this blog here and by guest contributor Roderic O’Gorman here on the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on Irish law, the ISEL 7th Annual Brian Walsh Memorial Lecture may be of interest to readers.

ISEL 7thAnnual Brian Walsh Memorial Lecture


In conjunction with the Bar Council CPD Unit presents


“Constitutional Courts and the Lisbon Treaty”


Wednesday 25th November 2009 at 6.30pm


St.Michan’s Church Church Street, Dublin 7



Speaker:        The Hon. Mrs. Justice Susan Denham, Supreme Court


Chair:              The Hon. Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly, Supreme Court


The Hon. Mrs. Justice Susan Denham was educated at University of Dublin, Trinity College; King’s Inns and Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. She was called to the Bar in 1971 and became a Senior Counsel in 1987. Appointed a Judge of the High Court in 1991, and in December 1992 the first woman appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court. Judge Denham is a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple in London.  Since 1995 she has been Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.

The Hon. Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly practised at the Bar from 1964 to 1995.  He was Chairman of the Bar Council of Ireland for the period 1990 to 1991. He was appointed Advocate General at the Court of Justice in 1995, where he served until 2000, when he was appointed to the Supreme Court.  He is President of the Irish Society for European Law and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of European Law at Trier.

The lecture will be followed by the launch of the new ISEL website ( and a wine reception. There will also be a speakers’ dinner after the lecture, to which members of the ISEL are invited.  To register for the dinner, please email

This Public Lecture is open to all and is free of charge

Call for papers – Sibéal Listens: Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference on Gender and Women’s Studies

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Sibéal Listens:

Fresh Voices and New Directions in Feminist and Gender Research

Call for papers for a one and a half day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference on gender and women’s studies to be held on the 26-27 November 2009 at hosted by the Women’s Studies Centre, School of Social Justice, University College Dublin (Ireland).
The event will include panel discussions on diverse topics around gender and women’s studies as well as the launch of The Irish  Journal of Feminist Studies. We aim to create a space for dialogue about the links and tensions between different approaches to gender and feminist theory, analysis and research. The event will also provide an excellent networking opportunity for post-graduate students from different disciplines with a shared interest in gender and feminist issues. The conference will include time for discussion on how Sibéal can best promote and support postgraduate students in the years to come.

We welcome papers from post-graduate students from any discipline, but who is approaching their research from a gendered or feminist perspective.

Submission Guidelines:
Abstracts should be between 250-300 words. Please also include a brief bio (100 words) along with your name, contact address, and institutional affiliation.
Please send your complete abstract to by 18th October 2009. We might be able to consider late submissions, but priority will be given to those who meet the deadline.
The Sibéal committee will contact you by end-October 2009. Please feel free to contact the conference organizing committee at for any questions you may have.

Sibéal, Irish Postgraduate Gender & Women’s Studies Network, Ireland.

New Programme for Government Promises the Introduction of Gender Recognition Legislation

October 16, 2009 5 comments

Dr Lydia FoyNext Monday it will be two years since Mr Justice Liam McKechnie handed down his groundbreaking decision in Foy v An tArd Chlaraitheoir (No 2). In that case His Lordship issued the first ever Declaration of Incompatibility between Irish law and Ireland’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. The cause of the incompatibility was the inability of Irish law to recognise the preferred gender identity of transgender people.

The Declaration should have put in motion a series of events which would have resulted in the Taoiseach reading the order into the records of each House of the Oireachtas within 21 working days (s5 of the ECHR Act, 2003). However, as this was the first time such an order had been handed down, His Lordship put a stay of two months on the implementation of the order to give the State the opportunity to decide whether to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. On Friday, March 28th 2008 notice of such an appeal was lodged with the Supreme Court. The case has yet to be listed for hearing.

Read more…