Action Plan for the Implementation of Judgment X v North Macedonia

The Council of Europe (Department of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit – SOGI with the participation of the Execution Department) in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of North Macedonia and the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality’s Human Rights and Integration Directorate organized a Peer to Peer study visit to Malta in order to provide a detailed reviews of Maltese Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act. The study visit was part of the North Macedonia authorities’ plan to implement the European Court’s 2019 judgment in the X v. ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ case and will be examined by the Committee of Ministers during its Human Rights meeting of 3-5 March.

The case X (application no. 29683/16, 17.01.2019) concerns a violation of the applicant’s right to respect for private life on  account of the refusal of the administrative authorities to change the applicant’s sex/gender marker on the birth certificate since 2011 (a violation of Article 8).  The European Court held that “the current legal framework in the respondent State does not provide ‘quick, transparent and accessible procedures’ for changing on birth  certificates the registered sex of transgender people” which concerns legal gender recognition.

The study visit provided an opportunity for participants in the North Macedonia delegation to become familiar with Malta’s gender identity legislation, given that Malta had an identical legal problem in its earlier legislation. In particular, the Cassar v. Malta case (application no. 36982/11) ended in an amicable settlement, as the State of Malta undertook to adopt a legal solution and allow transgender persons to change their gender in official registers completely, since the previous legal solution did not allow gender change registration for all purposes, such as for the purposes of marriage, which was a particular problem in the case of Cassar v. Malta. Consequently, Malta adopted the new Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act in 2015. It is considered to be of the first remarkably advanced laws protecting transgender persons in all spheres of life. 

A study visit of the delegation from North Macedonia and their introduction to Malta’s best practices and legislation in the context of efforts to reduce discrimination based on the grounds of gender identity will facilitate the preparation and implementation of legal solutions compatible with the Convention.

Read the Action plan in the X. case here:

References from the official website of the Council of Europe