Browsing Law by Subjects
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The development of age and disability equality within the European Union: the Court of Justice and the (mis)implementation of EU general principlesOver the years, EU general principles have proven to be an essential source of protection of equality. The approach followed by the European Court of Justice has made general principles one of the most effective sources of law towards the goal of expanding the protection of equality and improving its enforcement. Against this backdrop, the article argues that some recent decisions in the fields of disability and age discrimination challenge the merits of such approach and eventually disclose its shortcomings. The ruling in Kaltoft shows at time a lack of consistency of the CJEU case-law and a far too discretional reasoning, while Dansk Industri and Parris demonstrate that the Court’s arbitrary approach has the capacity to ultimately jeopardise the effective and fair enjoyment of equality as an individual right.
Protecting the ‘rights of others’ in the UK: religious expression, reasonable accommodation and the real meaning of non-discriminationOver the years, states have been developing and implementing legislation with the aim of protecting individuals against discrimination, inter alia, on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Recent developments have led to an expansion of the concept of ‘family’ to include same-sex couples and single parents and the progressive adjustment of the law with a view to extend parenthood rights to less ‘’traditional’ family forms. In terms of access to parenthood, objections of conscience may arise in relation to facilitating adoption by same-sex couples or single parent adoption, whereby religious objectors may feel that their professional duties are in direct conflict with the tenets of their religion. Conscientious objections have traditionally been expressed by persons whose beliefs are at odds with laws compelling them to carry out certain functions, such as facilitating adoptions in same-sex families or registering and officiating civil unions. The progressive legal recognition of alternative family unions and parenthood rights to non-traditional family forms on the one hand, and the manifestation of religious beliefs outside an individual’s forum internum1 on the other, can be described as an ‘explosive mix’ of conflicting rights and freedoms. In addition to national courts in the Council of Europe’s member states, the European Court of Human Rights has been exploring the scope and limits of the right of conscientious objection as a particular aspect of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In the European context, the European Court of Human Rights has demonstrated through its jurisprudence that although a ‘human right’ to conscientious objection exists, this is not absolute, but subject to permissible limitations as found in Article 9(2) ECHR2 including the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.