Baliko: National minorities do not strive for original spelling of names

Photo by Joanna Bożerodska

“We decided to refer cases regarding original names spelling to the European Court of Human Rights because decisions of the Supreme Administrative Court are not satisfactory for Lithuania. It is inconceivable that one version of a surname is included in the Residents Register, and another one – in a passport” – said Ewelina Baliko, the lawyer of the European Foundation of Human Rights who represents persons trying to obtain the right to use their names and surnames in the original form in the court.

Recently, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled on the cases of Mickiewicz and Jacquet.

“The final decision of the court was to include both Lithuanian and original version in a passport. The problem is that the Lithuanian version is to be an official version, whereas the official version will be put on the subsequent page. We still do not know which form will be placed in the identity card (ID card). The question now is on what basis the Lithuanian version of a name and surname is created if the residents register contains original forms only. In a sense, a given person may have two identities in that way – institutions use original version, whereas a passport contains the Lithuanian one” – stated Ewelina Baliko.

She noted that there are several cases on names spelling that are currently before the court. However, there is no case that relates to original spelling of representatives of national minorities.


Tłumaczenie by Grzegorz Gaura w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, Translated by Grzegorz Gaura within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights,

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