Video makes misleading claims about birth certificates and the law
25 August 2021
What was claimed
Your name, as registered at birth, is a fictional legal entity which you can choose whether or not to use. Obligations such as attending court are optional if you disregard what is described as the fictional legal entity.
These beliefs have previously failed as a defence in UK courts. All births in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the child being born. In Scotland a birth must be registered within 21 days.
A video on Facebook, seen thousands of times, claims that signing a birth certificate and registering a birth means a child has been signed over to the state and creates a “fictitious legal entity”.
The video goes on to claim that the “legal entity” can be separated from the “flesh and blood” person, meaning obligations such as attending court when summoned are optional. Full Fact could find no example of this defence ever being successful in a UK court.
Part of the video appears to be taken from the 2013 documentary which focuses on the “strawman” theory.
The strawman theory has often been invoked by people who describe themselves as “freemen-on-the-land” (or “freemen-of-the-land”).
The strawman theory, in this context, describes a separation between a “real” person (that is, the physical person) and their legal or corporate identity, which some people claim can be denied.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.
For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false
because the video makes misleading claims about legal responsibility, which have not worked as defences in court cases.
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