School of Law

Research Student: Jule Mulder

EU Non-discrimination Law in the Courts: a multilayered comparison of juridical approaches to (in)direct sex and sexualities discrimination in EU law and its implementation in Germany and the Netherlands

My research will examine how national courts and quasi-judicial bodies respond to the EU challenge of introducing an equality framework into their national legal systems to correspond with the EU standard of equality law. I will include an analysis of direct as well as indirect discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation.

Research and case law concerning the ground of gender is relatively well established.

However, the ground of sexual orientation is very new and raises several questions. For instance, to what extent the protection is granted, how gender equality jurisprudence can be used as a model for non-discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and what could be a satisfying objective justification in cases of indirect discrimination.

Moreover, a distinction between gender and sexual orientation is not straight-forward because neither can be explained without reference to the other.

To provide a comprehensive picture I will examine two civil law countries, Germany and the Netherlands, which take a very different approach to non-discrimination law.

This research will uncover the different approaches to discrimination cases within sexual orientation and gender and the difficulties arising from them. The work takes a comparative law approach, constructing law as a factor which is inter-related with other aspects of society.

This approach necessitates a deep study and understanding of the ...

  • relevant (legal) cultures
  • histories
  • and sociological background.

Furthermore I will include an analysis of the case law of the ECJ, national courts and/or quasi judicial bodies, which are viewed in a triangular relationship to each other. Attention will be drawn to the dialogue and influences of the courts inter se.

The influence of Community law and its application by national courts is considered as depending heavily on the national legal cultures.

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