In general, IHRA is supportive of the Tasmanian inquiry, and we are very pleased that States and Territories are beginning to consider protections for the bodily integrity of children with intersex variations. However, we have been concerned with a series of process-related issues that may affect the outcomes.
In particular, we are concerned that that Tasmanian inquiry reproduces aspects of the work of the Commission over a shorter time frame, without the benefit of an expert reference group with community input, and with a methodology that is not trauma-informed. We are concerned that the inquiry will be overwhelmed by submissions on issues not related to intersex people, while public misconceptions may nevertheless frame intersex issues poorly and inaccurately.
We are also concerned that a letter by the Institute on 25 June distributing the inquiry report to interested parties stated:
The Institute is keen to hear from medical professionals and the broader community about how to deal with this complex issue.
Community voices should be centred. We have previously commented on our concerns with the outcomes of legislative reforms in the State, earlier this year.
In place of preparing a separate new submission for the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute’s inquiry on “sex and gender recognition”, we have spoken with Institute staff, and made a series of submissions of existing content accompanied by a range of supporting information. Key documents submitted include:
- Intersex Human Rights Australia. 2018. ‘Submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission: Protecting the Human Rights of People Born with Variations in Sex Characteristics’. https://ihra.org.au/32490/ahrc-submission-2018/.
- Intersex Human Rights Australia. 2018. ‘Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on the Review of the Family Law System – Discussion Paper’. https://ihra.org.au/32909/submission-to-the-australian-law-reform-commission-on-reform-of-the-family-law-system/.
- Carpenter, Morgan. 2018. ‘The “Normalisation” of Intersex Bodies and “Othering” of Intersex Identities’. In The Legal Status of Intersex Persons, edited by Jens Scherpe, Anatol Dutta, and Tobias Helms, 445–514. Cambridge, England: Intersentia. doi:10.1017/9781780687704.028.
IHRA. 2019. ‘Tasmania: Unfinished Business’. Intersex Human Rights Australia. April 17. https://ihra.org.au/35157/tasmania-unfinished-business/.