This book examines the emerging principle of equality in EC law on the basis of a multi-layered comparison. It considers, in the first place, the legal regulation and interpretation of the equality principle in English and Dutch law in light of mandatory supranational requirements and asks whether contemporary national equal treatment law is in conformity with EC law. Secondly, this book compares the two national approaches both before and after transposition of the EC Equality Directives. Although the Member States are under a Community law duty to achieve the goals pursued by EC Directives, they are given a discretionary choice as to how to do so. Hence, as this book shows, even post-implementation of EC equality law national approaches diverge in various (important) respects. Thirdly, in a tentative way, this book addresses the question if and in what ways EC equal treatment law has been influenced by (long-standing) national approaches. To what extent do or can national approaches serve as a guideline for the EC? Fourthly, this book makes a comparison between the intrinsic nature of the various grounds of discrimination covered by Article 13 of the EC Treaty, namely sex, racial and ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. Gaining insight into the underlying values of different grounds of discrimination is important, for it provides information to both the legislator and the courts as to how to address the different problems faced by different disadvantaged groups. Does ‘equality’ have different faces for different grounds of discrimination?
The multi-layered comparison that is central to this book is illustrated in the context of employment and in the light of the theoretical discourse on ‘equality’ as a (meta)legal principle. At appropriate junctures, reference is moreover made to relevant ECHR law which could set an example (good or bad) for the development of both domestic and EC equality law.
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The ‘Ius Commune Europaeum’ series focuses on the common foundations of the legal systems of the Member States of the European Union. It includes horizontal comparative legal studies as well as studies on the effect of EU law, treaties and international regulation within the national legal systems. All substantive fields of law are covered.
The series is published under the auspices of METRO, the Institute for Transnational Legal Research at the Maastricht University.
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Prof. Dr. J. Smits (chair - Tilburg University, the Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. M. Faure (Maastricht University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. E. Vos (Maastricht University, the Netherlands).