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Allan Briddock and Daniel Grütters draft amicus submissions to the Romanian Constitutional Court
29 Sep 2020
On behalf of ILGA-Europe and TGEU, One Pump Court’s Allan Briddock and Daniel Grütters, alongside Wesley Gryk (Wesley Gryk Solicitors), Catherine Jaquiss (Goldsmith Chambers) and Tara Hewitt (Trans Equality Legal Initiative), drafted amici curiae submissions to the Romanian Constitutional Court on a proposed law prohibiting any education or training aimed at spreading gender identity theory or opinion.
The proposed law, Article 7 of Law 87/2020: Proposal to modify and complete the Law Regarding National Education nr.1/ 2011, was adopted by the Romanian parliament. However, the President of Romania referred the adopted law to the Constitutional Court on the basis it is contrary to Romania’s Constitution.
The proposed law is:
Art.7 (1) In all education entities and institutions and all spaces that are assigned for education and professional training, including entities that provide extracurricular education, there are strictly forbidden:
- e) activities aimed at spreading gender identity theory or opinion, understood as the theory or opinion that gender is a concept that is different than the biological sex and the two are not always the same;”
Romania is obliged to protect and respect the rights of trans and gender diverse people and prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender identity under international human rights instruments which Romania has ratified.
Art.7(1)(e) would prohibit educational institutions from teaching in accordance with international recognised definitions of gender and gender identity. It would exclude recognition of trans and gender diverse identities from educational establishments, including those educating children, law enforcement and judicial officers, doctors, nurses and other health workers responsible for the provision of healthcare. This would result in significant consequential fundamental human rights breaches including hampering the state authorities’ ability to discharge their obligations of due diligence and protection without discrimination.
In turn, this would increase intolerance and lack of understanding about these matters in society as a whole.
The amici argued that the adoption of Art.7(1)(e) into Romanian law would require, in practice, for all educational purposes, the adoption of a definition of ‘gender identity’ contrary to international law.
It would constitute a violation of principles of international law, including dignity and equality; and would additionally result in significant consequential breaches of the human rights protected by the European Convention of Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Istanbul Convention.
Art.7(1)(e) is discriminatory, has discriminatory effect and adversely affects particularly vulnerable groups.
The proposed law is widely opposed by Romanian universities and Romanian and international human rights groups and by the European Commission.
ACCEPT Romania provided amicus submissions to the Court based on Romanian Constitutional law and the team is indebted to ACCEPT for its guidance. The team is grateful to Professor Alex Sharpe (Warwick University and Garden Court Chambers) and Peter Dunne (Bristol University and Garden Court Chambers) for their input.
The Constitution Court’s decision is awaited.Back to News