Dr Lydia Foy, an Irish transgender woman issued proceedings against the Irish state as she remains unable to get a birth certificate indicating she is a woman despite having won a previous high court ruling in her favor.
Foy served the plenary summons against the Irish minister for social protection and the attorney general on Monday (25 February).
Foy told the Irish Times: ‘I think it’s beyond belief that the State still hasn’t changed the law.
‘You’d imagine they’d have dived in to fix this up. Not a huge number of people would be affected and it’s a matter of human rights’.
In 2007, Ireland’s high court ruled that Irish law was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for refusing to recognise the acquired gender of transgender people.
The Irish state filed an appeal against the ruling to the supreme court but withdrew it in June 2010.
Successive Irish governments have promised to introduce legislation to allow transgender people to get new birth certificates, but have failed to do so.
Foy who underwent gender realignment surgery in Britain in 1992 applied for a new birth certificate reflecting her female identity in 1993.
He application was refused and led Foy to begin legal proceedings in 1997.
Ireland’s high court initially ruled against her in 2002 but made a landmark ruling in her favor five years later.
Ireland is now the only state in Europe still in breach of the Convention on Human Rights on the issue.
Ireland’s minister for social protection, Joan Burton, repeatedly stated that legislation was a ‘priority’.
The Irish Times quoted the minister promising the legislation would be published ‘within weeks’ at September last year.
A spokeswoman for the department told the Irish Times: ‘formal opinion of the Attorney General was received . . . in December 2012 and is currently under consideration’.
Foy said that the continued refusal by the Irish state to recognise her gender is ‘very much a source of distress.
‘It’s a constant insult. I’ve been very alone, very badly treated along the way.
‘Losing my family and my job seemed the worst, most important issues in the past.
But I see everything flows from your identity. Being accepted for who I am is the most important thing. I would like to see this wrong put right as quickly and with as much dignity as possible’.