11 July 2024

Thai transgender people, who dress in accordance with their chosen gender identity, can now attend law training courses and take examinations at the Lawyers Council of Thailand, ruled a gender discrimination committee.

According to former secretary-general of the Lawyers Council of Thailand Dr. Sombat Wongkamhaeng, the committee issued a ruling last Wednesday stating that the dress code of the Council’s law training school, which requires all attendees to wear clothing in accordance with their birth sex, is against Section 27 of the Constitution, which guarantees rights in sexual diversity, the right of individuals to choose their sexual identity and to wear clothes to match their identity.

The committee also ruled that the dress code does not correspond with the exceptions in the Section 17 of the Gender Equality Act, which stipulate that, for the sake of national security, religious principles or public safety, individuals must wear their clothes in accordance with their gender.

The ruling follows a petition filed by a law student, who was barred from sitting a written exam at the council for dressing as a woman. They had reportedly already undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Dr. Sombat said the committee’s ruling reaffirms the National Human Rights Commission’s ruling that the orders of universities, forbidding transgender graduates from wearing clothes to match their gender identity when attending graduation ceremonies, is a violation of human rights and disrespects human dignity.

Any regulations that are contrary to gender equality should be revised or amended to be in line with the global trend, he said.