Handbook on European non-discrimination law – 2018 edition


In January 2010, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights decided to cooperate on the preparation of a handbook on European case law concerning non-discrimination. We are now pleased to present an updated version of this handbook, which contains updated examples of relevant case law and an improved structure.

When the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union became legally binding. Furthermore, the treaty provides for EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. In this context, increased knowledge of common principles developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights have become essential for the proper national implementation of a key aspect of European human rights law: the standards on non-discrimination. Furthermore, the work of the FRA is anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to the principles of universality, equality and leaving no one behind. In this context the handbook promotes SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), 10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries) and 16 (Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies).

This handbook is designed to assist legal practitioners who are not specialised in the eld of non-discrimination law, serving as an introduction to key issues involved. It is intended for lawyers, judges, prosecutors, social workers and persons who work with national authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other bodies that may be confronted with legal questions relating to issues of discrimination.

With the impressive body of case law developed by the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union in the non-discrimination eld, it seems useful to present an updated and accessible handbook intended for legal practitioners – such as judges, prosecutors and lawyers, as well as law- enforcement of cers – in the EU and Council of Europe member states and beyond. In particular, those at the forefront of human rights protection need to be aware of the non-discrimination principles, in order to be able to apply them effectively in practice. It is the national level that brings non-discrimination provisions to life, and it is here, on the ground, that the challenges become visible.

We would like to thank Dr. Magdalena Jankowska-Gilberg and Dr. Dagmara Rajska for their contribution in drafting this updated handbook. We would also like to thank all those who provided input and support throughout its preparation, in particular the Of ce of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Council of Europe Department of the European Social Charter. We are also grateful for the documentary support provided by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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