Because of all the Equality Act discussion detail recently, I’ve been thinking about other trans-related legislation. An interesting and not often talked about offence is under section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 which basically makes it illegal for anyone to “out” someone if they’ve found out by virtue of being an employer or similar. Although it’s a criminal offence, the penalties are quite mild: A “Level 5” fine, which is up to £5,000. As an upper cap, that’s pretty mild given you could quite possibly maliciously destroy someone’s life.
I submitted a batch of Freedom of Information requests to various bodies: In England and Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service, for Scotland the Procurator Fiscal and Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland.
Firstly, kudos to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland – I had a reply in 48 hours, well less than the 20 days they need to reply in. That’s amazing and much to their credit.
As to the responses themselves:
…there are no charge codes relating to [the Act], so no cases have been reported relating to this Act… (Procurator Fiscal)
…no cases have been reported to the PPS since the introduction of the legislation… (Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland)
…No offences under this Act/Section are recorded on the CPS Management Information System… (Crown Prosecution Service)
So it seems that it’s such a pointless offence that not only has nobody ever been convicted, but nobody has even been prosecuted… and there has never been a reported case to consider. Does anyone have a possible case they’d like to try to report?