Informujemy, że Państwa dane osobowe są przetwarzane przez Fundację Instytut na Rzecz Kultury Prawnej Ordo Iuris z siedzibą w Warszawie przy ul. Górnośląskiej 20/6, kod pocztowy 00-484 (administrator danych) w celu informowania o realizacji działań statutowych, w tym do informowania o organizowanych akcjach społecznych. Podanie danych jest dobrowolne. Informujemy, że przysługuje Państwu prawo dostępu do treści swoich danych i możliwości ich poprawiania.
Skip to main content
Facebook Twitter Youtube

Strasbourg Court: state has no obligation to recognize "third sex"

Published: 10.03.2023

Adobe Stock

· The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed the complaint of a French man suffering from hermaphroditism who demanded that a notation of "neutral" or "intersex" gender be entered on his birth certificate.

· The courts refused, pointing out that his request was essentially a demand for the establishment of a "third gender," while French law only recognizes male and female sex.

· Moreover, the man was married to a woman with whom he was raising an adopted child.

· The man filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that the courts violated his right to privacy.

· The Court dismissed the complaint, pointing out that the division between male and female sex in the law is justified by the specifics of civil status records, which include birth certificates, and that adding a "third sex" would require a complete remodeling of the legal system.

· The case involves a French citizen who was diagnosed at birth with hermaphroditism, also known as hermaphroditism (having both male and female biological characteristics). His birth certificate classified him as male.

In 2015, he requested that the public prosecutor send a request to the president of the grand tribunal (France's judicial body of first instance) in Tours to revise his birth certificate by replacing the notation of male sex with the notation of "neutral" or "intersex." The court granted the request and ordered the birth certificate to be amended. In 2016. However, the Court of Appeals in Orléans overturned this ruling, pointing out that while the fact of the applicant's hermaphroditism is undisputed, he has looked and acted like a man for years, as evidenced by the fact that he married a woman with whom he is raising an adopted child, as well as the circumstance of his testosterone use. Regardless, the court's recognition of a "third gender" would constitute an impermissible interference with the competence of the legislature, which has so far provided for only two genders. The Court of Cassation upheld the verdict, sharing the second-instance court's arguments and adding that implementing the complainant's request would require a complete remodeling of French law, based on the division of society into two sexes.

In 2017, the man filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, accusing French courts of violating his right to respect for private life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). The complainant pointed out that not only biologically, but also psychologically, he identifies as an intersex person, and the state should recognize his identity by correcting his birth certificate accordingly.

In 2023. The ECHR dismissed the complaint by a majority of 6 votes to 1, holding that the inability to register hermaphroditism as a "third sex" is justified by the principle of inalienability of civil status and the need to protect the integrity and reliability of civil status records. The Court stressed that "in matters of general policy, where opinions within a democratic society may vary considerably, special weight must be given to the role of the national legislature."

- The Court's judgment is a voice of reason, expressing respect for one of the oldest legal principles, which is the division of society into two sexes determined by biological characteristics. Of concern, however, is the caveat in the ECHR's reasoning for the judgment about the Convention being a "living instrument" whose understanding can change depending on "current circumstances." This vague reference suggests that the Court reserves the right to change its position in the future," noted Weronika Przebierała, director of the International Law Center of the Ordo Iuris Institute.


The case of Y. v. France, ECHR judgment of January 31, 2023.

Civil liberties


Criticism of a children's book published by an LGBT organisation lawful. Judgment of the Constitutional Court of Hungary

· The Constitutional Court of Hungary ruled that a newspaper had the right to criticise a collection of fairy tales containing homosexual themes, published by an LGBT association.

· The case concerned a lawsuit by the organisation, which accused the editors of violating its personal rights.

Read more
Family and marriage


Some countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States have refused to sign the Partnership Agreement with the European Union

· At a formal ceremony held in Samoa, as many as 35 countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) refused to sign the agreement with the European Union.

· The agreement pushes the concept of so-called reproductive and sexual rights and gender theory.

Read more

Janusz Komenda legally reinstated at IKEA

· The District Court in Kraków has dismissed IKEA's appeal against a judgment ordering the reinstatement of Janusz Komenda, an employee dismissed for quoting the Bible.

· In December 2022. District Court in Kraków found that the dismissal was unlawful and ordered Janusz Komenda to be reinstated.

· The Court of Second Instance confirmed that the dismissal was unjustified.

Read more
Family and marriage


International agreement to be signed soon. Poland's opposition to an ideological interpretation of concepts

- The partnership agreement between the EU and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is due to be signed on 15 November.

- The adoption of the agreement could result in, among other things, the pushing of the concept of so-called reproductive and sexual rights or gender theory.

Read more