From Iceland — Icelandic State Acquitted In Case Of Man Wanting Legal Name Change To "Lucifer"

Icelandic State Acquitted In Case Of Man Wanting Legal Name Change To “Lucifer”

Published November 17, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Creative Commons

Reykjavík District Court has acquitted the Icelandic state of culpability in the case of a man who was twice denied the right to change his legal name to Lúsífer by the Icelandic Naming Committee, Vísir reports.

For the unfamiliar, the Icelandic Naming Committee judges new names that people want to introduce to the lexicon, primarily using three criteria: that there is historical precedent for the name, that the name can be declined in accordance with Icelandic grammar, and that the name not be likely to cause a person to be subjected to ridicule. In the case, of Lúsífer, they rejected this name on the grounds that it is one of the names for the devil, and as such, breaks the third criterion.

However, the man in question says that he has been known by this name for some 20 years now but because his name is not legally recognised, cannot change it in the National Registry. He therefore took the matter to court.

He argued that his rights had been violated in this case; in particular, freedom of religion and the right to privacy, and that a person’s name is has been recognised as a part of their identity since ancient times. The court, however, ruled that the Naming Committee provided solid reasoning for not approving Lúsífer as a new name to be added to the Icelandic lexicon, while the man in question was not able to demonstrate that the name would not lead to ridicule of others who might be given this name.

The state was therefore acquitted of culpability, and Lúsífer will not be a legally recognised name–for as long as the Naming Committee exists, at least.

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