THE passing of gender recognition reform legislation in Scotland has been welcomed by officials in the Council of Europe and United Nations. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon re-tweeted a comment from the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, Dunja Mijatovic, who welcomed the news that the Scottish Parliament had voted through the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, which its supporters say will bring the country into line with international best practice on human rights. 

The bill, whose final debate occurred over three days as MSPs wrangled with more than 150 amendments, will remove the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria by a medical professional before a person can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). 

This will be replaced by a system of self-identification, which allows individuals to determine their own gender identity without clarification from a doctor. 

It also shortens the period of time that a person must live in their acquired gender before applying from two years to three months and opens up the process to 16 and 17-year-olds. 

Mijatovic said: "I welcome Scotland’s new law #GRRBill adopted today by @ScotParl  introducing legal #GenderRecognition based on self-determination.

Nine Council of Europe states have already adopted such laws & several others under consideration. Key trend for full realisation of trans people’s human rights." 

She added: "Trans people have the right to legal recognition of their gender identity. 

"Legal gender recognition procedures should be quick, transparent, and accessible, and in line with internationally recognised human rights best practices, including self-determination. 

"Such procedures have been implemented successfully in other country's while preserving everyone's human rights." 

The UN human rights office also congratulated MSPs for passing the bill. 

"We welcome adoption by @ScotParl of the #GenderRecognitionReformBill – a significant step forward in respecting the human right of #trans persons to recognition of their gender identity, based on self-identification." 

Shortly after the results of the final vote were announced Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the UK Government will "look closely" at the implications of Holyrood's gender reforms in the coming weeks, indicating that they may even block Royal Assent of the bill if it interferes with UK-wide legislation.