France is suing parents who gave their son a Breton name

France is suing parents who gave their son a Breton name

BarcelonaWhen they went to register their son, the official had already warned them, but Caroline and Arthur decided to go ahead with the name they wanted: Vanche, the Breton equivalent of Francisque, in honor of the child's mother's ancestry. Six months later, this family received a statement from the Angers Public Prosecutor's Office ordering them to appear before a family judge. Reason: the title, the cap is in the shape of a wave above n The one bearing his son's name, which, according to the Public Prosecutor's Office, is not allowed in the civil registry.

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The certificate states that since n “It is not a diacritic mark included in the French language,” so the name Fañch could conflict with “the interests of the child.” For this reason, he demands that “the newborn be given another name, with or without the consent of the parents.”

According to the case's lawyer, Yannis Alvarez, in the ARA newspaper, the accusation is justified in a ministerial circular issued in July 2014 that limits the spellings that can contain French names. Therefore, the court can rule that little boy Vansh, at the age of 7 months, must change his name. “We will not call him by another name overnight,” says Caroline, Vansh’s mother. Western Post. “They tell us that we do not take our son's interests into consideration. He is violent. This implies that we are bad parents,” he laments.

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According to Alvarez, there is a precedent that Vansh ended up accepting the name “because it was believed that n It was a correct spelling of Old French. But the mandate in no way took into account the “regional language claim”. Then, if it had already been accepted in previous rulings, why? n In the list of permitted spellings in the civil registry? “There is a political will behind this, it is indisputable,” he added. “Parents are forced to go to court,” Alvarez says, adding: “The best example is that we have a foreign minister called Laurent Nunez, who has his name written like this in the Official Gazette.”

The issue has raised a lot of dust in Britain, with many politicians seizing the opportunity to demand greater recognition of “regional identities”. Without going any further, the region's president, Luig Chesnet-Girard, issued a statement denouncing what he called “unacceptable social violence.” “It is time to push the law and get it approved n“, he claimed.

Artús, an “unconstitutional” name.

However, this is not the first time that the French state has banned a “regional” name, citing the same article. A similar case is the case of the Occitan Lysander of Varennes, who was prevented by the judiciary from naming his son Artus, because Sh With closed accent is not also a spelling pluralized by the French language. On the other hand, it belongs to the Occitan language, which is also an indigenous language in French territory. “We lived through it badly, we knew that there were already similar cases, but we did not think that there would be another attack against our regional languages ​​in 2022,” says Varin, who organized a group of families in the same situation. “Occitan is the language of our ancestors and the language of our children; it is our language, and if the French state were truly democratic, it would be possible to recognize it. It is a fundamental question of human rights.”

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As his lawyer, Stephane Pages, explains to ARA, French law is protected “at all levels” to prevent so-called “diacritical marks” (those that do not appear in French) from having legal effect. The ruling they received in the Artus case stated that his name was “unconstitutional.” “The case law is against us,” he says, but Vanish’s lawyers may have more luck, because “in a previous case they found words in Old French with the title.”

The Artus case was also unsuccessful in the European Court of Human Rights, which is why they have filed a complaint with the UN Human Rights Council, where they claim that the French constitution violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. For not respecting the “private life of parents.” “The essence of the case – says Bages – is that the decision determining which signs can be used in the civil registry was approved to protect French from English, and at that time they said it would not be used against regional languages.” He adds that this “indicates a democratic problem.”

But Varin has no intention of giving up: “No matter how small this dialect may be, it is what characterizes the current standard of the Occitan language and no one should be able to deprive us of our right to write and pronounce our children’s names in our language.” He adds: “Artus was born in Occitanie, into the family and house of Occitanov, and he will carry the name of his ancestors with pride and a normal life. Whether France accepts it or not.”

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