News 1st March 2016

Worley’s case to proceed in human rights tribunal on 21 April

Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice yesterday rejected an attempt by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prevent Kristen Worley’s case against sport’s rules on gender from being heard in the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HTRO). The HRTO will decide if it has jurisdiction to hear the case in preliminary hearings on 21 and 22 April. It is understood that the IOC accepted that it made no sense for the Superior Court to hear its arguments about whether it had been validly served with the case under the terms of the Hague Service Convention if the HRTO is to decide whether the IOC should remain as a Respondent.

Yesterday’s decision means that the case is likely to go forward in the HRTO, as it has already ruled that although court proceedings are subject to the Convention, it is not applicable to Tribunal proceedings. Worley’s case, discussed in detail here, alleges that the IOC’s 2003 Stockholm Consensus caused sport to apply rules and policies that violated her human rights and medically harmed her and other female athletes. As such, the case argues, the IOC is directly culpable for the policies applied to her. The IOC maintains that the HRTO has no jurisdiction to hear the case, since it concerns sporting rules (as explained yesterday) which it argues it has no control over.

In November, the IOC introduced its Transgender Guidelines within a Consensus Statement following a ‘Consensus meeting on sex reassignment and hyperandrogegism’. The Guidelines are intended to replace the 2003 Stockholm Consensus, but introduce testosterone limits for XY female athletes based on those applicable to XX females; limits that are not based on medical science and cause transitioned XY females medical harm, as discussed in this article.

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