In Re: Imogen (No.6)  FamCA 761 (10 September 2020) Watts J granted a father’s application for the court to authorise the commencement of stage 2 hormone treatment for his 16-year-old daughter Imogen (). The mother disputed the diagnosis by Imogen’s doctors that she was Gillick competent and opposed hormone therapy.
The court said (from ):
“ … a) If a parent or a medical practitioner of an adolescent disputes:
i) The Gillick competence of an adolescent; or
ii) A diagnosis of gender dysphoria; or
iii) Proposed treatment for gender dysphoria,
an application to this Court is mandatory;
b) …[O]nce an application is made, the court should make a finding about Gillick competence of an adolescent. If the only dispute is as to Gillick competence, the court should determine that dispute by way of a declaration, pursuant to s34(1) of the Act … ;
c) Notwithstanding a finding of Gillick competence, if there is a dispute about diagnosis or treatment, the court should:
i) Determine the diagnosis;
ii) Determine whether treatment is appropriate … ; and
iii) Make an order authorising or not authorising treatment pursuant to s67ZC of the Act … ;
d) If a parent or … guardian does not consent to an adolescent’s treatment for gender dysphoria, a medical practitioner … should not administer treatment to an adolescent … without court authorisation. (…)
 In circumstances where there is a dispute about diagnosis, consent or the nature of treatment, an application to the court is mandatory (see Re Jamie  FamCAFC 110 (‘Re Jamie’)(…).
 In this case, there is dispute about treatment and the form it should take. Whilst … what was said in Re Jamie was strictly obiter dicta, it was well considered … I conclude that I should follow the conclusions of Bryant CJ in Re Jamie …, in respect of the approach to be taken when treatment is disputed. Given there is a dispute about what form treatment should take, this court should determine that dispute pursuant to s67ZC …. [T]he court should have regard to the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration and give significant weight to Imogen’s views …”
Robert Glade-Wright is the founder and senior editor of The Family Law Book, a one-volume loose-leaf and online family law service (thefamilylawbook.com.au). He is assisted by Queensland lawyer Craig Nicol, who is a QLS Accredited Specialist (family law).