A court showdown between the UK and Scottish Governments over the decision by the latter to block a bill passed in Holyrood to make it easier for trans people to change their legal gender will take place next month.

The timing of the battle was confirmed after a procedural hearing by the two sides, presided over by judge Lady Haldane, was held this morning. 

Lady Haldane confirmed the judicial review being brought by Scottish ministers would be held at the Court of Session in Edinburgh starting on September 19 and would be due to last three days.

Earlier this month the judge dismissed a request by the Scottish Government, who is being represented by the Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC for the case to be postponed.

Here are some of the key moments in the long running row between the two governments ahead of September's legal clash.

March 2, 2022: The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament. It proposed wide-ranging reforms to the process for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate in Scotland, which is currently governed by the Gender Recognition Act 2004. 
The reforms includes: reducing the minimum age of applicants from 18 to 16 years; reducing the current requirement that the applicant have lived in the acquired gender for 2 years to 3 months; and removing the requirement that there be a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

December 22, 2022: the Bill passed its final stage in Holyrood. Members voted 86 to 39 in favour of the bill following two days of debate that saw parliament sit late into the night for MSPs to work their way through 154 amendments. There were nine SNP rebels who voted against the party whip and against the bill. Then then social justice secretary Shona Robison noted that the final bill represents the “culmination of six years of consultation and policy development” and is “an important step towards creating a more equal Scotland”.

January 17, 2023: the Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack made an order under section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998. Section 35 empowers the SoS to “intervene in certain cases”, namely where a Bill contains provisions which would “make modifications of the law as it applies to reserved matters and which the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have an adverse effect on the operation of the law as it applies to reserved matters”. The move effectively blocked the bill and preventing it from being submitted for Royal Assent where it would become law.
According to the arguments made by Mr Jack the Bill creates two distinct and parallel gender recognition regimes across the UK, increases the potential for fraudulent applications with a consequent impact on the safety of women, and impacts upon the operation of the Equality Act 2010. He also argues that by obtaining a GRC the person has the protected characteristic of their acquired sex. This, for example, would give them the right to use women-only spaces in hospital wards and gym changing rooms.
Mr Jack's case is also that the bill further impacts upon reserved matters on the administration of tax, benefit and state pensions managed by systems across the UK that span reserved and devolved functions. 

January 24:  Controversy flares over issues surrounding gender self-identification when Isla Bryson, a transgender woman formerly known as, Adam Graham, from Clydebank, is convicted of raping two women and remanded ahead of sentence to Scotland's only women's prison Corton Vale in Stirling. Bryson is latter sent to a male prison following a public outcry. The case is used to criticise the gender self-declaration principle in the Scottish Parliament's GRR bill with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon coming under political pressure in Holyrood. 

February 9: Urgent review is announced by Scottish Government of transgender prisoner management.

February 15: Nicola Sturgeon announces her resignation in Bute House, Edinburgh, as First Minister. She insists the controversy over transgender rights was not a factor in her decision to stand down.

February 24: Isla Bryson jailed for eight years and sent to a male prison.

March 27: Humza Yousaf elected SNP leadership defeating Kate Forbes and Ash Regan in party contest. During the election campaign Mr Yousaf says his government would challenge the UK Government's Section 35 block to the gender recognition reform bill.

April 12: Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirms that the Scottish Government will seek a judicial review of the UK Government's use of the Section 35 order to block the GRR bill.

June 27: The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service confirmed a three-day hearing to consider the case would take place at the Court of Session in Edinburgh from September 19 to 21. The case will be heard by judge Lady Haldane, who ruled in 2022 that the definition of sex was “not limited to biological or birth sex”.

August 4: Lady Haldane rejects Scottish Government request to postpone full hearing at Court of Session, set for September 19.

August 16: 20 minute Court of Session preliminary hearing confirms full hearing will start on September 19 and to last three days.