The European Foundation of Human Rights cordially invites everyone to an information meeting – ‘How to change the name – a step-by-step guide.’ The meeting is directed to everyone interested in benefiting from one of the fundamental human rights – the original spelling of their name and/or surname. The meeting will be attended by a qualified lawyer who will present the legal possibilities in this regard. In addition, an expert of the Foundation – Dr. Łukasz Wardyn, will give a talk on the activities conducted by the EFHR in 2013.
Interestingly, there were almost 8,800 cases were the registered names including Katarzyna, Tadeusz, Matthew and Odetta, and surnames such as Leszczynska, Szulc, Brown etc.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) stressed in several of its rulings, that regulating the spelling of names and surnames, is a domain of each Member State, and is closely linked with the culture and language history as well as sense of identity, nevertheless the state must respect the case law of ECHR and each legal regulation should be objectively justified and should apply equally to all citizens.
The ECHR in its decision from 2007, in Johansson v Finland case, stated that if a census registration of the population had already listed specific names, and it was not found to have any negative impact on the preservation of cultural and linguistic identity, then there are no grounds for refusing registration of such a name.
With regard to the newfound practice in the original spelling of the names and surnames (for more information: http://www.efhr.eu/imie/) EFHR encourages everyone interested in the meeting informing about the possibility of changing names and surnames already registered with the Public Registry as well as free legal advice when submitting an application to the authority:
The meeting will be held on February 15, at 6 pm. in the room no. 305 at the House of Polish Culture, Naugarduko St. 76. The meeting is free of charge.
The meeting is under the patronage of: the House of Polish Culture, University of Bialystok Branch in Vilnius, Department of Economics and Informatics, Foundation Supporting Polish Education ‘Self-determination’, the Association of Polish Engineers and Technicians in Lithuania, the Association of Teachers of Polish Schools, the Association of Polish Scientists, and the Lawyers Association in Lithuania.
Media partners of the meeting were: Vilnius Courier, Znad Wilii Radio, Vilnius Region Weekly, Wilnoteka.