Schoolgirl, 15, launches High Court battle against the CPS

Schoolgirl, 15, launches High Court battle against the CPS for ‘adopting a biased, pro-trans ideology’ by backing LGBT charity Stonewall

  • Teenager, referred to only as A, took issue when CPS issued school guidance 
  • Guidance said that students should be allowed to use their preferred bathrooms 
  • Teenager A argued she could be at risk of hate crime prosecution for objecting 

A 15-year-old girl is legally challenging the Crown Prosecution Service for allegedly ‘adopting a pro-trans ideology’ by affiliating itself with LGBT charity Stonewall. 

The teenager, referred to only as A, is hoping to bring a full High Court challenge against the CPS claiming its links to the charity mean it risks being biased when dealing with cases involving transgender issues.

She initially took issue with the service after it issued school guidance on transgender bullying, warning that schools could face legal action if they did not allow transgender pupils to use their preferred bathrooms.

Teenager A, who was 14 at the time, argued the guidance failed to take her rights into account and that she could be at risk of hate crime prosecution if she objected to a biological male entering a female toilet. 

A 15-year-old girl is legally challenging the Crown Prosecution Service for allegedly ‘adopting a pro-trans ideology’ due to its affiliation with LGBT charity Stonewall

The CPS then withdrew the guidance and put it under internal review – which the girl now argues will not be impartial due to its affiliation with Stonewall.   

The CPS pays to subscribe to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme which aims to ensure acceptance in the workplace for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender staff. It also issued the school guidance in association with Stonewall.   

Stonewall believes gender identity should be treated as a protected characteristic  with legal protection under the Equality Act 2010. 

Teenager A has continued her legal battle against the service. Her lawyers claim the affiliation gives rise to a ‘significant risk of bias…which creates a real risk that otherwise lawful conduct will be criminalised’, because the CPS has ‘adopted the Stonewall policies and pro-trans ideology’.   

They say this ‘gives the appearance that justice will not be done in gender-related transphobia cases’, meaning the CPS’s membership of the Diversity Champions programme is unlawful.

She initially took issue with the CPS after it issued school guidance on transgender bullying, warning that schools could face legal action if they did not allow transgender pupils to use their preferred bathrooms

At a remote hearing today, teenager A’s lawyers will ask Mr Justice Cavanagh for permission to bring a full High Court challenge.

If she is given the go-ahead for a full hearing, her lawyers will ask the High Court for an order ‘requiring the CPS to facilitate an independent review of all its policies that engage with gender identity’.

In teenager A’s written case, her barrister Ian Wise QC argues: ‘The CPS has, by affiliating itself to the Stonewall (Diversity) Champions programme, chosen to ally itself to one side of the highly political and controversial debate over transgender rights.

‘This inevitably compromises the CPS’s impartiality when making decisions, for example about alleged harassment of trans-sexual people.’

Mr Wise added: ‘There can be no sensible doubt but that it (the CPS) has the appearance of being partial when considering allegations of transphobia.’

But, in a statement before the hearing, Stonewall’s chief executive Nancy Kelley said: ‘We strongly refute any suggestion that our Diversity Champions programme has rendered the Crown Prosecution Service biased in any way.

‘It is not biased to engage in making your workplaces inclusive of LGBT+ people.

‘The Diversity Champions programme is vital as more than a third of LGBT staff hide who they are at work, while one in five have been the target of negative comments because they’re LGBT.

‘We’re proud to work with so many different organisations who want to create spaces where every LGBT person is accepted for who they are.’

The hearing, which is being conducted remotely, is due to begin at 2.30pm on Tuesday.

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