New gender identity laws to make legal sex change easier in Netherlands

A new law passed by the Dutch Parliament makes it much easier for transgendered individuals to have their preferred gender identity legally recognised.

The law was voted through on in its final reading by a vote of 51 to 24. All that is required now is an official countersigning by King Willem-Alexander.

Previously, sterilisation, broader gender modification surgery, and a court order were required to alter gender status in official documentation.

The new law removes all of these requirements and replaces them with a statement from "an expert" who will confirm the legitimacy of an individual's desire to alter their gender.

The law also provides an age limit of 16 years before such legal decisions can be made.

The Dutch government has promised a review of the law to address complaints that it does not go far enough. The government has decided to speed up the review from the usual five years to three.

The review will reconsider the age limit and the need for expert testimony, which LGBT campaigners want removed.

After Royal Ascent, the law is expected to come into force on July 1, 2014.