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Supreme Court rejects application for permission to appeal Bell v Tavistock

The Supreme Court has rejected Quincy Bell’s application for permission to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Bell -v- The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust [2021] EWCA Civ 1363.

Ms Bell had sought to challenge the practice of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service – “GIDS” – of referring patients under the age of 18 for prescriptions of puberty-suppressing treatment.

The Court of Appeal held that GIDS’s practice was lawful, and that the landmark House of Lords case of Gillick v. West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority [1986] AC 112 had already decided that it was for doctors, not judges, to decide on the capacity of children to consent to medical treatment. The Supreme Court refused the application for permission to appeal, on the basis it raised no arguable point of law.

Rook Irwin Sweeney acted for the national trans-led charity Gendered Intelligence; Brook, the UK’s leading sexual health and wellbeing charity for young people; and the Endocrine Society, a global community of endocrine scientists and clinicians, who intervened in support of the Tavistock in the Court of Appeal. The intervention was made with the support of Good Law Project, a not-for-profit campaign organisation that uses the law to protect the interests of the public

6 May 2022

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