European Non-Discrimination Law

A Comparison of EU Law and the ECHR in the Field of Non-Discrimination and Freedom of Religion in Public Employment with an Emphasis on the Islamic Headscarf Issue

By Sarah Haverkort-Speekenbrink

In Europe, contemporary multicultural issues raise the question as to whether the overlap between the non-discrimination regimes of the European Union and the Council of Europe in the field of public employment may lead to conflicting case law. Would the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) address potential sex, race, and religious discrimination in a similar manner or would these courts take a different approach? This study consists of three parts. First, an analysis is presented of the EU non-discrimination Directives 2006/54, 2000/43, and 2000/78, and the ECJ's assessment in cases of alleged sex, race, and religious discrimination in the public workplace. This is followed by an examination of the non-discrimination provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the right to freedom of religion. Further, the ECtHR's assessment in cases involving potential discrimination in the public workplace based on sex, race, and religion are examined. In the final section, a comparison is made between the provisions and the assessment of the ECJ and the ECtHR. Besides a look at European legislation, case law, and academic literature, this research also uses a legal case study to explore the similarities and differences between the non-discrimination regimes. Accordingly, the theory is again discussed, but now in light of a much debated issue in Europe: the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in public employment. The result of the study is a detailed explanation of the relevant similarities and differences between the approaches of the two courts to claims of discrimination. (Series: School of Human Rights Research - Vol. 59)

396 pages

Publication Date: 12/31/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781780681269