ICJ Announces the Publication of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice: A Comparative Law Casebook

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are posting this statement from the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) announced the publication of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice: A Comparative Law Casebook.

The Casebook is the first book of its kind. It collects and analyzes judicial decisions from more than 100 courts around the world. The Casebook showcases the role of international and comparative law in litigation seeking to vindicate the human rights of LGBT individuals. It is organized into fourteen chapters, each consisting of an introduction to the main legal issues and arguments followed by detailed case summaries. The chapters cover topics ranging from decriminalisation and employment discrimination to gender expression, military service and partnership recognition. The cases are both old and new and collectively they trace the progression of the twin norms of equality and universality.

Following is an excerpt from the Introduction:

"...the ICJ hopes that the Casebook will stand as evidence for the claim that law on sexual orientation and gender identity is truly global in nature. A court in New Delhi is referring not only to the decisions of courts in Strasbourg or Washington. It is also, and perhaps especially, paying attention to precedents established in South Africa, Hong Kong and elsewhere. Activists in Thailand and Guyana assert the right to cross-dress. Individuals in Kampala and Kathmandu demand judicial enforcement of their rights under international law. People everywhere want their relationships — with their partners, with their children — to receive legal recognition and protection."

Alli Jernow, Senior Legal Advisor, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Project of the International Commission of Jurists said, "The law is about people. Court decisions change individual lives for better or worse. This book is a tribute to the lawyers, activists and courageous litigants who sought to use the law to defend their rights. This project was also truly a collaborative effort."

The ICJ hopes that the Casebook will be of use to legal practitioners everywhere and will encourage human rights litigation in domestic courts.