Elan-Cane v Secretary of State for the Home Department

2020 Court of Appeal and 2018 High Court


This case concerns Christie Elan-Cane a 60 year old female. At the age of 30 Elan-Cane had a double mastectomy followed by a hysterectomy. Elan-Cane argues a ‘non-gender’ identity (using pronouns per/per/perself) and seeks a passport with an “X” (unspecified) marker in the sex field. The judge held that as a non-gendered person the Appellant’s Article 8 right to respect for private life was engaged. But he determined that the Government’s policy did not amount to an unlawful breach of that right.

“A full understanding by all governmental departments…will be required as to the clear distinction between the concepts of sex and gender”

In 2020 an appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. An appeal to the Supreme Court is due to be heard on 12-13 July 2021. The case is being supported on a pro-bono basis by Clifford Chance, and has intervention by Human Rights Watch.