Editorial on Gender Verification Rules

I recently contributed to Regarding Rights, which is an online initiative of the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ). Under the auspices of Professor Hilary Charlesworth’s ARC Laureate Fellowship Project ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism’Regarding Rights provides a forum for voices from activism and academia to comment on important issues in human rights.

The title of my editorial is Rights, Regulation and Bodily Integrity: Reflections from Sport. It reflects critically on the Court of Arbitration in Sport’s recent ruling to suspend the Hyperandrogenism Regulations in women’s sport. With regard to rights, I argue:

Sport is a space in which the policing and scrutiny of athletes’ bodies is explicit. Regular commentaries about athletes’ physical performances, suspected performance-enhancing drug use and changes to their bodies’ shape or size offer everyday examples. Accordingly, sport is a site that enables us to think through the tensions between rights, regulation and bodily integrity. Recent developments around the regulation of who can participate in women’s sports events offer a timely and important case in point.