Hämäläinen v. Finland (European Court of Human Rights)

Heli-HämäläinenHeli Hämäläinen, is a Finnish national who was born in 1963 and lives in Helsinki. Hämäläinen underwent male-to-female gender reassignment surgery in 2009 and, having previously changed her first names, wished to obtain a new identity number that would indicate her female gender in her official documents. However, in order to do so her marriage to a woman would have had to be turned into a civil partnership, which she refused to accept. The applicant complains that making the full recognition of her new gender conditional on the transformation of her marriage into a civil partnership violates her rights under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 12 (right to marry) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights. In its Chamber judgment of 13 November 2012, the Court held unanimously that there had been:

– no violation of Article 8 of the European Convention;
– no violation of Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 8; and,
– that there was no need to examine the case under Article 12.

Hämäläinen appealled to the Grand Chamber; the appeal is pending.

H. v. Finland.

Cases referred to the Grand Chamber April 2013.


Transgender woman fights for her marriage and gender in European Court.


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