“A story of great human proportions” – Lydia Foy and the struggle for Transgender Rights in Ireland

5 June 2018

Justice Edwin Cameron and Lydia Foy


About the report 

The report chronicles Lydia Foy’s brave and resilient struggle for gender recognition. It outlines how in 1993, Lydia Foy asked for a new birth certificate giving her female name and recognising her gender as female. This simple request for State recognition began a journey which ended 22 years later in the passing of the Gender Recognition Act in 2015. The report details Lydia’s journey of complex and difficult litigation which resulted in radical reform of the law on gender recognition and fundamental change in how the State and society view gender and identity. Behind the legal challenges, there is a story of great human proportions, of courage and fortitude. This report records this remarkable story. FLAC is very proud of the support it provided for this challenging case over two decades.

There were contributions at the launch from Lydia Foy, Michael Farrell, Donncha O’Connell and Sara Philips (TENI).




About Edwin Cameron:

Edwin Cameron has been a Justice of South Africa's highest court, the Constitutional Court since 2009. During apartheid he was a human rights lawyer. President Mandela appointed him a judge in 1994. Before serving in the Constitutional Court, he was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal for eight years, and a Judge of the High Court for six. He was an outspoken critic of president Mbeki’s Aids-denialist policies and wrote a prize winning memoir, Witness to Aids. His latest book Justice: A Personal Account was published in 2014. He has received numerous honours for his legal and human rights work, including a special award by the Bar of England and Wales in 2002 for his 'contribution to international jurisprudence and the protection of human rights'. He is an honorary fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, London, and of Keble College, Oxford (2003), as well as an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple, London (2008). He holds honorary doctorates in law from King's College London (2008), the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (2009), Oxford University (2011) and the University of St Andrews (2012). He gave FLAC’s Annual Dave Ellis Memorial Lecture in 2016.