Today, the National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL and the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) informed the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe about the process of executing the judgement in the case L. v. Lithuania.
The civil society organizations’ have commended the Government’s efforts in introducing comprehensive procedures for legal gender recognition and medical gender reassignment with the view of addressing the continuing systematic violations of transgender human rights in Lithuania. Nevertheless, LGL and HRMI are of the position that close supervision by the Council of Europe’s institutions shall prevail until the legislative and policy measures are fully in place.
Progress on the national level
In their briefing, the civil society organizations acknowledge that in the period of March-June, 2017 the Lithuanian authorities, namely – the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, have been taking concrete steps with the view of eliminating the continuing systematic violation of the right to respect of private life under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECtHR) for transgender individuals in Lithuania.
Currently, HRMI and LGL sit in the working group drafting the law on legal gender recognition. The working group was established by the Ministry of Justice.
Furthermore, in two ground-breaking decisions of 7 April 2017 and of 2 May 2017 the Vilnius City District Court addressed the legal gap on gender reassignment by granting legal gender recognition for two transgender men without the requirement for the irreversible gender reassignment surgery.
Establishment of the administrative procedure is mandatory
Nevertheless, the satisfactory execution of the L. v. Lithuania judgment requires the establishment of the corresponding administrative procedure for legal gender recognition, which would enable transgender individuals to change their identity documents in a quick, accessible and transparent manner without the necessity of applying before the national courts.
The civil society organizations welcome the Government’s efforts to establish such procedure and invite the Lithuanian authorities to strictly follow the legal standards established by the domestic courts throughout the legislative process.