Phase Three

Concluding Assessment and Wider Public and Policy Engagement

We are now in the final phase of our project. We are providing a concluding assessment of potential principles underlying law reform in this area which will be launched to the public in Spring 2022. We are also reflecting on the prefigurative methodology of imagined future law reform.

We are producing a legislative guide which will outline some key provisions that a decertification law would require, along with some options, questions, and commentary. The legislative guide combine our research findings with feminist and critical principles for law reform to provide a focus for further policy discussion as well as expert and public engagement, at a range of events.

We have held preliminary seminars and workshops, including:

“What” If seminars

In June and July 2020, Davina Cooper and Flora Renz led two virtual “what if” seminars with feminist academics to explore legal reform through “reverse engineering”. We explored the scenarios that might arise in conditions of decertification and the legal provisions that might need to be in place to address them.

Feminism and Legislative Drafting

On 18 November 2020, Emily Grabham led a scoping workshop on Feminism and Legislative Drafting to explore the question of how to draft an experimental decertification statute. The workshop drew on participants’ experiences of legal activism and law reform to identity feminist techniques, and challenges for working with legislative reform.

In June 2021, we held a workshop with parliamentary drafters and masters’ students specialising in legislative drafting. The workshop was organised in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Dr Maria Mousmouti.

Policy and Practice event

On November 24th 2021, we co-hosted Decertifying Legal Gender? A Collaborative Reflection on Policy and Practice with Equally Ours. The event drew together 30+ participants from NGOs, unions, local government, charities, and the public sector. We provided an overview of our key findings to date and received feedback on our draft principles for decertification.

Keep up to date by joining our mailing list or checking our event schedule.

Return to the overview of the project here.

Photo by Delila Ziebart on Unsplash

Currently in Britain, we all bear a legal gender, starting with the sex we are registered with at birth. But should state law determine our formal gender status? What would be the social, political and cultural implications of abolishing such status, or reforming it in other ways?