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Hungarian Legal report

Court sides with trans refugee

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Hungarian Constitutional Court has ruled that the lack of legislation on legal gender recognition and related name change for foreigners permanently residing in the country is unconstitutional.

The petitioner, an Iranian trans man was represented by the legal aid service of Háttér Society.

The decision arose in the context of a complaint by an Iranian refugee. The Iranian trans man arrived to Hungary in the summer of 2015 and asked for asylum. The Hungarian authorities found that he had been persecuted in his home country due to being transgender, and thus recognized him as a refugee. His documents, however, still referred to him as female, so he requested legal gender recognition according to the regular Hungarian procedure.

The authorities rejected his request on the ground that Hungary does not have jurisdiction in his case, and he should submit his request in Iran, the country where he had been persecuted. That decision is now reversed.