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  • Aleksander Sørlie

Does changing your legal sex to female give access to womens prisons?

Oppdatert: 20. feb. 2021

No. In Norway there are no laws regulating the right to be placed in either a male or female prison. Having a legal female gender does not give you any right to be placed in a womans prisons, regardless of your sex assigned at birth. You can have a female legal sex and be placed in a mens prison and you can have a male legal sex and be placed in a womens prison. This means that trans women can be placed in female prisons regardless of their legal sex. It also means that trans women can be placed in male prisons, regardless of their legal sex.

There are, however, official guidelines that are used. These guidelines state that legal gender should be used to decide placement in most cases, but that exceptions to this can be warranted if someone has changed their legal sex OR if someone has not changed their legal sex but has a gender expression or appearance that clearly deviates from their legal sex.

“In those instances where the accused has changed legal sex there can be made exceptions to the main rule if there is a risk to their or other inmates safety, or if such a placement seems obviously unfortunate.”

I de tilfeller hvor siktede/domfelte har endret juridisk kjønn, kan det gjøres unntak fra hovedregelen, dersom det kan være fare for dennes eller øvrige innsattes sikkerhet, eller en slik plassering fremstår som åpenbart uheldig. Dersom innsattes kjønnsidentitet og/eller kjønnsuttrykk ikke samsvarer med juridisk kjønn, kan det etter en individuell helhetsvurdering gjøres unntak fra hovedregelen.

In these cases the decision should be made based on an evaluation of safety for the other inmates and for the inmate themselves as well as whether a placement in a womens or mens prison would be “obviously uheldig”. It is worth noting that trans women have served time in mens prisons well after the self-ID law was introduced and they had a female legal sex.

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