A Rose By Any Other Name?

Shakespeare suggested that the names of things do not matter, but only their substance. The applicants in Losonci Rose and Rose v. Switzerland disagree. So does the Court, and so do I.

The applicants in this case are a couple who wanted to retain their own names after marriage, rather than adopt a double-barreled surname for one of them. Complicating factor was that the man was Hungarian by birth. Their reasons for not wanting to change their names were the difficulties in changing names in Hungarian law and the fact that the second applicant, who held an important post in the federal administration, was well known under her maiden name. Continue reading