The Trans Equality Legal Initiative works to build a collective and strategic response to the widespread and entrenched discrimination and inequality experienced by members of the trans community. The founders came together with this aim after the Government released the 'Transgender Equality Inquiry'. This was the first Government Inquiry into the discrimination and abuse suffered by members of the trans community in the UK. The report outlined the systemic discrimination faced by this community in almost every aspect of their private and public lives.
Through TELI, we hope to bring together human rights lawyers, third sector trans activist organisations, academics, equality and diversity experts and members of the trans, non-binary and queer community to pool our knowledge, expertise and skill base to inform both strategic litigation and to assist in lobbying for clear and concrete measures to secure equality and safety for members of the trans community. We also hope to consolidate expertise in this area of law to help inform practitioners and activists.
Strategic litigation is often a tool of last resort but can, when used appropriately, effect real change in how the Government responds and addresses wide scale discrimination. The founders recognise from their own practices that it is only through working cohesively and strategically from both a policy and legal standpoint that real and substantive change is made. The founders are committed to realising this change.
TELI launched this project with an all-day conference in November 2016 which brought together the lawyers, academics, third sector communities and members of the public to discuss key areas of concern facing members of the trans community in the UK. A series of panel discussions provided different perspectives on various topics.