News in English
Overall rating: Your rating:
Rating 0.0 with 0 votes Rate this news article!
There are no limits in Slovenia when it comes to how long names and surnames are, but the law does specify that a chosen name and surname can be made up of up to two words at the most. In other words, every Slovenian citizen can have up to two names and two surnames. Photo: Reuters

Share

Marko or Jihad? Špela or Nutella? What kind of names can Slovenians give their children?

10. November 2017 ob 10:57
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

In France a judge has banned the name Jihad, in Germany a Turkish pair was not allowed to name their child Osama bin Laden, and you won't find any Mona Lisa's in Portugal. How much liberty do Slovenians have in choosing their personal name? A lot.

Vesna Mitrić from the Ministry of Interior tells MMC that a list of allowed or forbidden personal names does not exist in Slovenia. The rules for names and surnames of Slovenian citizens are written down in the Personal Name Act, which defines that "the personal name is a citizen's right and serves to distinguish and identify a natural person. A personal name is made up of a name and surname. The personal name ensures a citizen's identity, and protects his personality and dignity." The act also stipulates that the right to freely choosing a personal name can be limited if "it is essential in securing public safety, the morale or other rights and freedoms of other people".

What does limiting one's right to a name mean? Does a state institution just warn parents about the inappropriateness of a name, or can it actually ban its use? Mitrić quoted Article 8 from the Personal Name Act, which says that "if a competent authority (the administrative unit) establishes that a chosen personal name can harm the interests of a child, the parents are to be warned about it. If, despite the warning, the parents refuse to give their child another name, the competent authority registers the child by the name chosen by its parents. At the same time it also reports the case to the competent Social Work Centre, which can take action in accordance with its jurisdiction when it comes to the protection and upbringing of a child. An appeal against the decision of the administrative unit will be considered by the Ministry of Interior, as a second-instance administrative authority".

There are no limits in Slovenia when it comes to how long names and surnames are, but the law does specify that a chosen name and surname can be made up of up to two words at the most. In other words, every Slovenian citizen can have up to two names and two surnames. There can be no numbers or abbreviations in a personal name. It is also not allowed to add nicknames or other characteristics to a personal name.

What if, despite everything, we don't like our name or surname and want to change it into something else. That, of course, is possible. Every adult citizen can change his personal name by filing a request at an administrative unit. "A decision on a name change request is made by the authority where the request was submitted. The fee for changing a personal name stands at 54,90 euros in total. The cost for every subsequent name change demanded by an individual, apart from the costs for filing the request (0,50 euros), is double the regular fee (a total of 108,80 euros)," said Mitrić. So be aware – the (too) often changing of a name can become an expensive pleasure, as the price for every subsequent name change doubles in price.

Anja P. Jerič, MMC; translated by K. J.