Kaunas Regional Administrative Court said “yes” for “w”
On 23 February 2017 the Kaunas Regional Administrative Court referred to the case of the refusal to issue children with Lithuanian passports with the letter “w” in the Migration Office. The court ruled that Lithunian passports with the surname “Wade” must be issued to juveniles.
The court acknowledged that petitioner’s family faces many problems. Documents indicate that petitioner’s family is identified on the basis of the original spelling of the surname “Wade”. Children are citizens of the United Kingdom and have English passports. The family frequently travels across the EU and resides permanently in the UK. While travelling, they are forced to prove the identity of all family members because there is a difference between “Wade” and “Vade”. We have to prove our identity almost every day and we are supposed to do it by showing passports. Every time discrepancies occur in documents as regards surname spelling, there are doubts as to its authenticity. A person who exercises the right to move and reside freely in another EU country, is forced to accept the surname another than recorded in the marital status document or other documents of the state of residence, which may hinder the right to move and reside freely in EU countries.
It is worth noting that this is the eighteenth time the European Foundation of Human Rights has won as regards the issue of original spelling of names and surnames. There are more and more mixed families (most often with one of the spouses being a Lithuanian citizen and another – a foreigner) which decide to fight for their rights in the court. According to Ewelina Baliko, legal assistant, who acted as a representative of petitioners in the court, there are many cases to be handled in the court until expectations of all citizens are met as regards Lithuanian legal regulations.
The decision can be appealed within a month.