Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995

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Part 3 Names

18 Acceptance of names

(1)

A Registrar shall not include any name or names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person’s birth, or omit or amend any name or names so included, unless—

(a)

the effect is that there are so included—

(i)

1 name designated to be treated as the person’s surname; and

(ii)

1 or more other names; or

(b)

the religious or philosophical beliefs, or cultural traditions, of—

(i)

the person, if the person has attained the age of 18 years or earlier married or entered into a civil union; or

(ii)

a parent (living or dead) or living guardian of the person, if the person has not attained the age of 18 years or earlier married or entered into a civil union

require the person to bear only 1 name; and the effect is that there is so included only 1 name.

(2)

Subject to subsections (1) and (3), a Registrar shall include in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person’s birth any name or combination of names specified unless, in the Registrar’s opinion, it may be undesirable in the public interest for the person to bear it.

(3)

If, in the opinion of a Registrar (other than the Registrar-General) who would otherwise include any name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person’s birth, it may be undesirable in the public interest for the person to bear it, the Registrar shall notify the Registrar-General of the name or combination of names concerned, and shall not include it unless directed by the Registrar-General to do so.

(4)

The Registrar-General shall include a name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a person’s birth (or direct a Registrar to do so) unless, in the Registrar-General’s opinion, it is undesirable in the public interest for the person to bear it.

(5)

Any person affected by a decision of the Registrar-General to decline to include any name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act relating to a birth, or to decline to direct a Registrar to do so, may, within 28 days of receiving written notice that the Registrar-General has so declined, appeal against the decision to the office of the Family Court nearest the Registrar-General’s office.

(6)

On an appeal under subsection (5), the Family Court shall, unless satisfied that it is undesirable in the public interest for the person concerned to bear the name or combination of names concerned, direct the Registrar concerned to include the name or combination of names in the information recorded under this Act or a former Act in respect of the person’s birth.

(7)

In determining an appeal under subsection (5), the Family Court—

(a)

shall give every person the court thinks has an interest in the matter an opportunity to be heard; and

(b)

may receive any evidence the court thinks fit.

(8)

For the purposes of this section, it is undesirable in the public interest for a person to bear a name or combination of names if, and only if,—

(a)

it might cause offence to a reasonable person; or

(b)

it is unreasonably long; or

(c)

without adequate justification, it is, includes, or resembles, an official title or rank.

Section 18(1)(b)(i): amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 7 of the Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3).

Section 18(1)(b)(ii): amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 7 of the Relationships (Statutory References) Act 2005 (2005 No 3).

Section 18(5): amended, on 1 March 2017, by section 261 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).