Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    The law and transsexuals
    Baczynski, Mary ( 1982)
    The development of our Common Law as well as the law of most other societies has been based on certain fundamental assumptions about sex. Only two sexes exist, male and female. Everyone is classified as belonging to one or the other by anatomical sex at birth. A person's social and legal status may depend on his or her sex, which until recently was regarded as immutable. Transsexual surgery became a modern reality in 1952 when the much publicized case of Christine Jorgensen was brought to world attention. Since that time transsexuality has become both a dilemma and controversy in medicine, psychiatry and the law. There is no clear legal theory for determining how to accommodate the transsexual into our legal system. with the development in modern surgery the essential criteria for determining sex are being re examined. Although the dilemma of sex determination may initially seem far removed from the real concerns of lawyers, recent cases such as Corbett v Corbett , M.T. v J.T. and C and D3 make clear the need to re-evaluate accepted legal classification. (From Introduction)