Trans and gender diverse people face unique legal issues when it comes to discrimination, but a new legal service will help them fight it. Laurence Barber reports.
The Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) has partnered with Dentons to launch the pilot of a dedicated transgender legal service, the first of its kind in Australia.
The ICLC already provides more generalised LGBTI legal services, but its Transgender Legal Service will offer specialisation in the often complex legal issues that trans folks encounter.
“We can provide advice on identity documents, discrimination, transphobic violence and vilification, family law matters, domestic violence, neighbourhood disputes and employment.”
The ICLC is a not-for-profit service which has been operating for nearly 40 years, focusing on providing free access to justice for marginalised groups and particularly the LGBTI community.
The Kings Cross-based service partnered with the Human Rights Law Centre on the case Re Kelvin, which last year led to the law requiring trans youth to seek court approval for access to hormones being overturned.
The five judgments of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia found in two separate judgements that Stage 2 treatment no longer required court authorisation.
“Our new Transgender Legal Service will assist transgender people with their very unique legal needs, from changing name and gender on official documents, to support in opposing employment discrimination,” Vicki Harding, the ICLC’s Centre Director, told the Star Observer.
“With the assistance of Dentons, ICLC is now well-placed to ensure transgender people receive the long-overdue targeted support they need.”
The service will be available by appointment on Monday afternoons from September 10.
The ICLC also offers a Sex Worker Legal Service, as well as the Safe Relationships Project, which aims to assist LGBTI victims of family and domestic violence.
The Transgender Legal Service will assist with:
. Special Medical Procedure applications to the Family Court of Australia
. Assistance in regard to drafting wills, power of attorney, enduring guardianship
. Divorce, separation, and parenting
. Name and gender change advice and services
. Criminal and AVO advice and representation for especially vulnerable transgender clients on a low income
For more information about the services the ICLC provides, head to their website: www.iclc.org.au
If you are a solicitor, barrister, or law student, you can also volunteer time to assist in the Centre’s provision of legal services: www.iclc.org.au/volunteer-program
If you are transgender person and require legal help, you can call the ICLC on (02) 9332 1966