Transgender Europe, Transgender Legal Defence Project, Human Rights Centre “Memorial”, and
ILGA-Europe submitted to the European Court of Human Rights joint written comments in X. Russia (Application no. 60796/16).
The case involves a transgender woman who asked for her first name to be changed from the (male) name assigned at birth to a female name, to reflect her gender identity. She also requested her patronymic name to be removed. Russian authorities turned down her request, referring to linguistic rules and an alleged disagreement that would ensue between the new name and the remaining male gender marker in her identification documents.
This submission discusses, first, Russian law and practice on name changes in comparison with other countries, second, procedure and practice of legal gender recognition in Russia, third, distinct character of names when compared to other identity markers, and fourth, practice of the European courts on names.