The Tavistock appeal against the High Court judgment in the Keira Bell and Mrs A judicial review will be heard on June 23rd and June 24th. The hearing is expected to start at 10.30 am and will be live-streamed on YouTube. The link can be accessed here.
This is a very important appeal hearing. The judgment of the court in the JR was as follows:
Transgender Trend was given permission by the judges to intervene in Keira Bell and Mrs A’s judicial review on the basis that our evidence was new and had not been covered in other witness statements. Our evidence concerned the unique cultural environment in which this generation is growing up, including the indoctrination of young people, both online and in schools, into a belief in ‘gender identity,’ a concept with no scientific basis. We also presented evidence of the different experiences of puberty for boys and girls, and the specific and unique difficulties and pressures faced by girls. A ‘gender neutral’ service that fails to distinguish or take into account differences between the sexes cannot research or understand why a disproportionate number of referrals to the Tavistock are adolescent girls.
We are glad that the judges agreed we should continue as interveners in the Tavistock appeal hearing. Interveners are not permitted to present new evidence at an appeal, but we were able to submit our response to submissions by interveners for the Tavistock.
The original case was decided on the basis of rigorous evidence in support of Keira Bell’s case and a corresponding paucity of evidence from the Tavistock GIDS. The original evidence and witness statements are retained for the appeal hearing.
The High Court judgment did not ban the use of puberty blockers, but established a safeguarding framework whereby children are protected from making hasty decisions about medical interventions with lifelong consequences such as sterility and lack of normal sexual function. The court also did not establish age-specific rules about treatment, but provides a helpful legal guide for clinicians on the ability of children of various age-groups to give informed consent.
Children do not have the maturity or life experience to give informed consent to medical interventions with such devastating long-term consequences and we hope and expect that the appeal court will uphold the High Court’s judgment.