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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Transsexual Wins Fight to Change Her Name Officially

[MALTA] - A transsexual has won the right to be officially recognised as a woman on her birth certificate.

Yana Camilleri, formerly known as George, filed a case against the director of the Public Registry and the Attorney General, claiming that having her sex officially listed as male and her name as George led to her suffering degrading, embarrassing and inhumane treatment. She also said Maltese law did not provide for the needs of transsexuals.

Yana underwent sex change surgery and made a request for the name on her birth certificate to be changed to Yana and her sex to female.

The request was refused, so she filed a constitutional court case asking the court to order changes to her birth certificate.

Ms Camilleri said a refusal to do this would amount to inhumane and degrading treatment which was in violation of the constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights

She claimed that being listed as George created emotional and other problems in her life.

The European Convention states: "The notion of inhumane treatment covers such treatment that causes mental or physical suffering which in the particular situation is unjustifiable."

Mr Justice Alberto Magri said, in his opinion, the complainant was genuine and she had the operation because of Gender Identity Disorder and not for frivolous or lucrative reasons.

In addition, the court said Yana could not have the operation reversed and become a man again. A gynaecologist testified that the surgery was irreversible and she was regarded as "phenotypically female".

The court ruled in Ms Camilleri's favour, saying that the European Convention had been violated because the complainant's private life was being violated and Maltese law did not provide for the needs of transsexuals.

The court also ordered the director of the Public Registry to alter her birth certificate by replacing the name George with Yana. Mr Justice Magri also ordered for Ms Camilleri's sex to be changed to female on the document.

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