Is your name "yours"? Are you free to choose a name for yourself? Does a name withstand border crossing and even the acquisition of new citizenships? In the common law world, the unequivocal answer is yes. However, in civil law, this answer is not so clear. While the global tendency over the last few decades has been towards relaxing the norms governing names, old traditions die hard, and in some cases now re-emerge in other parts of the world. In an ever more globalized world, given widespread immigration, refugees, and people with dual (or even multiple) citizenship, the different national attitudes towards names and the lack of proper cross-border regulation of names is becoming a relevant and pressing question. This Article maps out and conceptualizes the challenge of names by demonstrating the different approaches toward names and suggesting possible cross-border regulation (i.e., choice-of-law rules) that would address this issue for the benefit of the individuals and countries involved.
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