The New Architecture of EU Equality Law after CHEZ: Did the Court of Justice Reconceptualise Direct and Indirect Discrimination?
European Equality Law Review, Forthcoming
17 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2016 Last revised: 4 Oct 2016
Date Written: June 18, 2016
The Court of Justice’s decision of the 16 July 2015, in Case C-83/14 CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria AD v Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia, is a critically important case for two main reasons. First, it represents a further step along the path of addressing ethnic discrimination against Roma communities in Europe, particularly in Bulgaria, where the case arises. Second, it provides interpretations (sometimes controversial interpretations) of core concepts in the EU antidiscrimination Directives that will be drawn on in the application of equality law well beyond Bulgaria, and well beyond the pressing problem of ethnic discrimination against Roma.
This article will focus particularly on the second issue, the potentially broader implications of the case. In particular, it will ask whether the Court of Justice’s approach in CHEZ is subtly redrawing the boundaries of EU equality law in general, in particular by expanding the concept of direct discrimination, or whether the result and the approach adopted is sui generis, one depending on the particular context of the case and the fact that it involves allegations of discrimination against Roma, and therefore of limited general application.
Keywords: EU Equality Directives, Court of Justice of the European Union, Direct Discrimination, Indirect Discrimination, Roma, CHEZ Case
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