Legal news from Aitken Harter Solicitors

Mother prevented from choosing her child’s name

Celebrity culture has meant an increasing popularity for choosing unusual baby names such as ‘Apple’ and ‘North West.’ This week the matter came before Lady Justice King sitting in the Court of Appeal when a mother tried to register her baby daughter’s name as ‘Cyanide.’

The mother explained to the Court that she thought the name was a ‘‘lovely pretty name’’ linked to “flowers and plants” and that it had positive connotations as it was the poison that killed Hitler.

An injunction was made in June last year preventing the mother from registering the name however, the mother appealed stating it was a breach of her human rights to be stopped from choosing her daughter’s name and the case came before the Court of Appeal this week.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the original decision to prohibit the mother from registering her daughter’s name. In her judgment Lady Justice King said naming a little girl after a “notorious poison” was simply unacceptable and even allowing for changes in taste, fashion and developing individual perception, Cyanide was a very odd name to give to a baby girl.

The mother was also prohibited from naming the baby girl’s twin brother ‘Preacher.’ The mother argued that this was a “rather cool name”, which sent a “strong spiritual” message and that would “stand my son well for the future”. Lady Justice King ruled: “This is one of those rare cases where the court should intervene to protect the girl twin from emotional harm and I am satisfied she would suffer if called ‘Cyanide'”. While growing up, the girl would have to come to terms with the fact that her mother had tried to “name her after a notorious poison”. Preacher, although “unusual”, was not as bad as Cyanide.

Lady Justice King ultimately decided that the twins’ elder half-siblings should be allowed to name the 8 month old twins.

The London Standard reported recently that the most popular baby names in North London were Amelia and Muhammed. Cyanide and Preacher did not feature on the list.

Emma Davies Aitken Harter Solicitors

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