The applicant complained of the lack of legal recognition of her changed sex and in particular of her treatment in terms of employment and her social security and pension rights and of her inability to marry.
The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention, owing to a clear and continuing international trend towards increased social acceptance of transsexuals and towards legal recognition of the new sexual identity of post-operative transsexuals. “Since there are no significant factors of public interest to weigh against the interest of this individual applicant in obtaining legal recognition of her gender re-assignment, the Court reaches the conclusion that the notion of fair balance inherent in the Convention now tilts decisively in favour of the applicant” (§ 93 of the judgment).
The Court also held that there had been a violation of Article 12 (right to marry and found a family) of the Convention. It was “not persuaded that it [could] still be assumed that [the terms of Article 12] must refer to a determination of gender by purely biological criteria” (§ 100). The Court held that it was for the State to determine the conditions and formalities of transsexual marriages but that it “finds no justification for barring the transsexual from enjoying the right to marry under any circumstances” (§ 103).