'That Woman is a Woman!': The Case of Bellinger v Bellinger and the Mysterious Disappearance of Sex

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In the case of Bellinger v. Bellinger the House of Lords has for the first time exercised the power to make a declaration of incompatibility under s. 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, finding that U.K. law on marriage is in breach of Articles 8 and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This case note argues, however, that despite this decision, and despite also recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights upholding the rights of transsexual people, the principles applied in Bellinger demonstrate that judicial discourse on transsexuality remains bound within the heterosexual and biological framework of Corbett v. Corbett.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages13
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • biological sex; heterosexuality; human rights; marriage; transsexuality


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