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Mentzen alias Mencena v. Latvia, dec., No. 71074/01, ECtHR ( Fourth Section), 7 December 2004

Type Judgment
Case number 71074/01


National legislation stating that all surnames and names in official documents must be reproduced in accordance with the spelling rules of the national alphabet. No breach of art. 8 ECHR.

Normative references

Art. 8 ECHR


The aim of protecting and promoting the official language can be considered legitimate as protecting the rights and freedom of others ( art. 8 §2 ECHR).Therefore, thee implementation of a rule concerning surnames could amount to an interference in the exercise of the right to respect for private and family life only if it had as a consequence a visual discrepancy between the surname’s new spelling and the original spelling which was sufficiently great that an uninformed observer might doubt that they concerned one and the same name and prevent the joint identification of persons as belonging to the same family.