I who may well be...

Musings from the perspective of a human being who may well be not locatable completely within the usual categories of male or female or gay or straight or transsexual or intersexed or exploiter or exploited or supplier or consumer or performer or spectator.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

confessions of an appellant

When I was in court last week, i didn't need my reading glasses, even for the tiny print in the wads of previous legal judgements the Crown Solicitor sprang on me without warning. I was like an owl looking for a mouse in a field at night, when its chicks will starve if it can't find the mouse, that mouse was toast :)

My favourite challenge was to a judge's statement that the "assumption" of the law is to establish whether people are male or female, an assumption the Respondent had to admit had no other basis in law other than it being said by a judge, and the judgment that 'Most people are male or female", which strongly implies and certainly allows that not all are.

Anyway, for a fleeting moment I wondered if I could be a lawyer, but I really only have these amazing skills when the matter animates my whole being, when it's so crucial and important to everything I believe in and am connected to and am part of...

I don't know which side the Crown Solicitor is really on, as their case studies support my case, revealing for example a person found to be not male, but not established as female, thus proving a non-specified sex to be a legal fact, not an inconceivable possibility, and their argument seems to be that the law acknowledges there are "people of indeterminate sex", and "surgery to correct or eliminate ambiguity", but that changing or registering sex is only ever to establish a person as having a legal status of male or female, with no other options allowed in law, although apparently recognisable by the law in reality, but not in any actual individual's legal documention, for fear of the consequences for a society with so much legislated sexism.

Yes, it's out there, they were the first to talk consequences, so I admitted there could be challenges, but insisted it was the job of the law in this case to establish the truth, no matter if that makes life more interesting or not for some parties.

By my side was Tracie O'Keefe, also picking up pertinent points and challenging a fictional binary that medical science has destroyed. Tracie actually is English, but I picked up the accent in elocution lessons when I was a child,  and there were moment when I thought we sounded like a pair of court scene Quentin Crisps.

Anyway, the troops are rallying, one of the architects of the Transgender and Other Amendments Act of 1996 turned up as we came out of court, and they are now researching the Hansard to show the inclusive intention of parliament when it passed the relevant laws, and we have an appointment with a barrister who had been caught up as a candidate in the election that's finally over on Saturday, won't that be good?

There may not be another court date, it all depends on what the Tribunal makes of the written legal submissions each side now makes with regard to the intent of the meaning of sex in the legislation, does it only mean male or female, is non-specific an acceptable status of sex, can there be no other status of sex than "male" or "female" (on a planet where most sexually reproducing lifeforms are hermaphrodites), and when is a neuter not a neuter?

Laters ;)

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