Key facts of the case:
Constitutional appeal in relation to the right to self image of a minor regarding the right to a name, particularly the question of the order of family names. Antonio Juárez Mechón acted to demand the filiation of the minor out of the marriage of a child sun of Mireya, and the ordinary jurisdiction declared the filiation of the minor out of the marriage with the consequence of the modification of the family names of the minor. In this sense the minor need to carry the father’s family name and the mother’s family name in second place. In relation to the modification of the family names, without agreement between the mother and the father, the civil legislation provided for the order: first the father’s family name, and after the mother’s family name. The problem is that the minor had been carrying his mother’s two family names along 4 years. Therefore, the mother appealed the decision because she wanted to prevail the mother’s family name because the child (with four years old) had been carrying mother’s surname as first family name along 4 years and he was identified in social aspect with this surname.
Outcome of the case:
The concrete outcoume of the case, is that the minor can carry his mother’s family name at the first place. According to Spanish Constitutional Court [Tribunal Constitucional] the surname is a element of the identity, and it is important to the child (minor’s interest) to carry the mother’s family name in first place because he is identified in social aspects with this surname.
The inclusion of the right to a name within the whole rights of the person and, more specifically, within the scope of the fundamental right to self image recognized in the article 18.1 of Spanish Constitution, which was expressed in our Judgment 117/1994, of 25 April, and in the same direction has been recognized by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. More specifically, with regard to the names, the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 22 December 2010 (C-208/09, Sayn-Wittgenstein, page 52) stipulates that the name of an person is a element of the identity and privacy, the protection of which is guaranteed by article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and by article 8 of the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.