THE Scottish Government’s legal challenge against the UK Government’s decision to block Holyrood's gender reforms has been locked in for September after both parties told a court they are ready to proceed.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s (SCTS) planned livestream of the procedural hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Wednesday did not go ahead due to technical issues.

The hearing was intended to be live-streamed as part of the SCTS’s “commitment to open justice”.

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However, a statement from the SCTS said: “Due to technical issues we were unable to livestream today’s procedural hearing, which has now concluded.

“It was concluded until September 19 for the substantive hearing. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working to resolve any issues for future hearings.”

The full hearing will be heard by Lady Haldane and will take place at the Court of Session over three days.

The National: People take part in a demonstration for trans rights outside the UK Government Office at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh. The UK Government made the decision on Monday to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, passed by the Scottish

The SCTS provided a summary of the hearing, which lasted 20 minutes, due to the technical issues.

"The court allowed adjustments to the Answers for the respondent to be received late," a statement said.

"The adjusted petition and adjusted answers are now to be treated as the final documents setting out the parties respective cases."

Both parties are required to lodge the documents required for the hearing to go ahead by September 11.

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Lawyers representing the Scottish Government, likely to be Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain (below), will be given the opportunity to speak first.

They will be given the whole first day on September 19 to set out their argument, and will be required to finish their submissions by 12.30pm on the second day.

The remainder of the second day and the final third day, will be allocated to UK Government lawyers. 

The statement said: "Both parties have confirmed that they are ready to proceed to the substantive hearing on 19 September at 10.00am within Court 1. The hearing will be livestreamed."

The National: Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain

In April, First Minister Humza Yousaf confirmed the Scottish Government would mount a legal challenge over the UK Government’s use of Section 35 powers, which prevented the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from gaining royal assent.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack had utilised the never-before-used powers under the Scotland Act to halt the gender laws from becoming law, which aim to make it easier for trans people to  obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

The reforms would have removed the medical element in the current process, allowing transgender people to self-identify.

The UK Government claim that this interferes with UK-wide equality law, an argument that will be tested in the court case. 

Yousaf said the legal challenge was necessary to “defend the Scottish Parliament’s democracy from the Westminster veto”.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously said the UK Government had taken “very careful and considered advice” on the issue.

He said his ministers had concerns about how the Scottish laws “would interact with reserved powers, about the operation of the Equalities Act”, as well as over the “protection of women elsewhere in the UK”.

We previously told how Scottish Government lawyers had asked for a postponement earlier this month due to an expected ruling in another case. 

Advocate Paul Reid told judge Lady Haldane that a postponement was needed due to an appeal brought by For Women Scotland to the Inner House of Session.

The National: Supporters of the For Women Scotland and the Scottish Feminist Network take part in a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, ahead of the vote on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. Picture date: Wednesday December 21,

Lawyers for the campaign group, who opposed the gender reforms, are set to appeal a decision made by Lady Haldane regarding the definition of a woman in relation to gender representation on public boards legislation. 

The judge previously ruled against For Women Scotland, with the appeal set for October.

Lady Haldane ruled that the meaning of "sex" is not limited to biological or birth sex, but can include those in possession of a GRC "obtained in accordance with the 2004 Act stating their acquired gender, and thus their sex."

Essentially, the ruling meant transgender women with GRC's can legally be defined as women when it comes to legislation to ensure gender balance on public boards.