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17 September 2008

Whatever happened to ... Daniel van Oosterwijck (1944 - ).

Danielle van Oosterwijck was raised in Brussels. From 1963 she worked at the Secretariat of the Commission of the European Communities.

In 1966 he socially transitioned to Daniel. In 1969 a neurologist and an endocrinologist took the advice of a Belgian psychiatrist and Dr John Randell in the UK and prescribed male hormones. In 1970, two surgeons, Mr. Fardeau and Mr. Longrée, successfully performed a mastectomy and ovariectomy. Subsequently, he received a phalloplasty carried out in ten stages, from October 1971 to October 1973, by Professor Evans, a surgeon at Queen Mary’s Hospital in London.

He then applied that his birth certificate and identity card be reissued with a male designation and forenames. This was disallowed by the ministère public, in that the initial record had not been in error, and there was no provision in Belgian law to deal with a transsexual change. This disallowance was confirmed by the Brussels Court and then the Court of Appeal. He then appealed to the European Court, which in 1980 rejected his appeal on the grounds that he had not exhausted domestic remedies.

Daniel qualified as a lawyer in 1979 at the Free University of Brussels.

*Not the Belgian cyclist.
  • The Van Oosterwijck case (ECHR, 1980): Judgment of the ECHR. October, 1980. Online at: No Longer Available
  • Daniel van OosterwijckAffaire van Oosterwijck: 1. décision du 27 février 1980, 2. arrêt du 6 novembre 1980 = Van Oosterwijck case : 1. decision of 27 February 1980, 2. judgment of 6 November 1980. Strasbourg: Greffe de la Cour, Conseil de l'Europe, 1981.
  • Marie-Bénédicte Dembour.  "Why should biological sex be decisive? Transsexualism before the European Court of Human Rights".  In Alison Shaw & Shirley Ardener. Changing Sex and Bending Gender. New York: Berghahn Books, 2005: 44.

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