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25th Feb 2022
Last week I wrote about what the constitution of an independent Scotland might look like and reminded readers that, back in 2014, it was the intention of the Scottish Government to enshrine the protected characteristics of the Equality Act into our fundamental law. If that had happened then current efforts to redefine what it is to be a woman may well have been unconstitutional, while at the same time the rights of trans people as defined by the protected characteristic of “gender reassignment” would have continued to enjoy equal protection.
Instead, it took Scotland’s Supreme Court, the Inner House of the Court of Session, chaired by Lady Dorrian, Scotland’s second most senior judge and the first woman ever to hold the role, to remind us that at least under the Equality Act, a piece of legislation largely reserved to Westminster, a woman is a female of any age and provisions in favour of women, by definition, exclude those who are biologically male.