November 28
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Dolores Utrilla
26th October 2021
Human Rights

ECtHR: automatic prioritisation of paternal surname in the event of disagreement between parents is discriminatory

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has issued its judgment in Leon Madrid v. Spain (application no. 30306/13), ruling that Spanish rules providing that children would bear the father’s surname followed by that of the mother, in the event of disagreement between the parents, is contrary to the prohibition of discrimination in conjunction with the right to respect for private and family life (Articles 14 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR).

The case concerns the applicant’s request to reverse the order of the surnames under which her minor daughter (born in 2005) was registered. The biological paternity of the child had not been determined until more than a year after the child’s birth, following a non-ma


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