Magazine article European Social Policy

Free Movement of People : Ecj Refuses to Rule on Choice of Surname

Magazine article European Social Policy

Free Movement of People : Ecj Refuses to Rule on Choice of Surname

Article excerpt

The EU Court of Justice has refused to get involved in deciding whether a German ban on using double-barrelled surnames flouts EU law. The ECJ said on 27 April (Case 96/04) that the body referring the case - a local court in Niebull - was acting in an administrative capacity, not a judicial one, thus the ECJ had no jurisdiction to give a preliminary ruling. It added that the dispute had moreover been settled by the higher regional court in Berlin and the constitutional court had refused to examine it.

The case arose after two German parents, Stefan Grunkin and Dorothee Paul, gave their child Leonhard Matthias the surname Grunkin-Paul. They were living in Denmark at the time, where children take the surname of both parents. The problem was that the German Registrar refused to recognise the double-barrel name. Under German law, your surname is determined by the law of your country of nationality. …

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