Re Kevin in Perspective

Rachael Wallbank


This article discusses the evolution of the common law concerning the phenomenon of transsexualism while seeking to identity the place occupied in that process by the decision of Justice Richard Chisholm (as he then was) in Re Kevin: Validity of Marriage of Transsexual [2001] FamCA 1074 (‘Re Kevin’) and the affirming decision of the Full Court of Family Court of Australia in respect of the appeal of that decision in The Attorney-General for the Commonwealth v "Kevin and Jennifer" and Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission [2003] FamCA 94 (‘Re Kevin-Full Court’); collectively referred to as ‘the Re Kevin decisions’. The article examines the phenomenon of transsexualism, associated language, terminology and causation issues as well as discussing the legal rights of young people in respect of medical treatment for transsexualism aided by a critique of the Australian decision Re Alex – Hormonal Treatment for Gender Identity Dysphoria [2004] FamCA 297. 

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