The Concepts of Equality and Non-Discrimination in Europe: A Practical Approach

European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G.2, November 2009

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4/2011

Posted: 17 Feb 2011

See all articles by Christopher McCrudden

Christopher McCrudden

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; University of Michigan Law School; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Sacha Prechal

University of Utrecht - Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance; Utrecht University - School of Law

Date Written: February 16, 2011

Abstract

Equality and non-discrimination are complex concepts, with considerable debate on their meanings and justification. The discussion of equality and discrimination is, in general, characterised by considerable conceptual and methodological confusion. This is no different in relation to the discussion of equality and discrimination in the European legal context, including in the context of EC law. Although there is agreement on the most elementary principles, in practice a wide range of approaches is often adopted by, for example, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Similarly, despite there being many common definitions of the central concepts of gender equality law in the EU Member States and EEA countries, there is a fair chance that the concepts are understood and applied differently and that confusion also exists here. This Report provides, in the first place, an analysis of the concept of equality and related notions in EC law, in particular in the case law of the European Court of Justice. In the second place, it analyses the concept of equality and related notions in the EU Member States and EEA countries, in particular in legislation, in case law and in doctrine. Specific attention is paid to the case law of the domestic Constitutional Courts. Although the emphasis of this Report is on gender equality, the discussion of the various concepts is necessarily broader and may also include other grounds of non-discrimination. Understanding how the concepts are interpreted may help to contribute to the appropriate enforcement of equality law in the countries concerned, as well as to point to areas where further clarification by the Commission or Court may be necessary.

Suggested Citation

McCrudden, Christopher and Prechal, Sacha, The Concepts of Equality and Non-Discrimination in Europe: A Practical Approach (February 16, 2011). European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Unit G.2, November 2009; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1762815

Christopher McCrudden (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Sacha Prechal

University of Utrecht - Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance ( email )

Janskerkhof 3
Utrecht, 3512 BK
Netherlands

Utrecht University - School of Law ( email )

3508 TC Utrecht
Utrecht
Netherlands

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,859
PlumX Metrics