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Purpose and aims with the conference

Anti-discrimination legislation represents one of the most dynamic legal areas within EU law. This development is connected to the fact that topics about equal treatment and non-discrimination are crucial for the future development of Europe and a common labor market, as these questions are directly linked to the issue of fundamental human rights.

Legislation about equal treatment and non-discrimination had to begin with its focus on the labor market. In recent years we have witnessed a development where more and more areas in society are covered by these principles. The number of different discrimination grounds gradually has increased. This is a result of developments within EU law and due to specific legislation on member state level. As a consequence of the ratification of the Nice treaty, courts on member state level have to observe precedent rulings not only from the European Court of Justice but also from the European Court of Human Rights.

Today we face a situation where a multitude of courts and tribunals on member state level are producing judgments relating to anti-discrimination law; general courts, administrative courts, labor courts etc. Accordingly, legal interpretation and development of case law is rather polycentric and difficult to overview. Case law from areas outside work life influence discrimination disputes within the labor market. For example, the European Court of Human Rights has developed a significant case law according to the discrimination ground religion or other belief. On the other hand, Scandinavian case law in this area is very limited. One upcoming question is whether courts in discrimination cases are interpreting rules about burden of proof in slightly different ways.

A particular aspect of anti-discrimination law is the possibility for member states to decide on pro-active measures. In this area Nordic countries have chosen different solutions, as well in relation to legislation as to the way these rules are supervised by authorities.

The interaction between legislation and collective agreements is of specific interest when it comes to the application of the equal-pay principle. In those countries where there are statutes about gender wage assessments, these statutes may have substantial impact on the content of collective agreements. This topic is penetrated by one of the seminars of the conference.

The aim of this project is to exchange experiences on a Nordic level, simultaneously to strengthen networks on an individual and on an institutional level and to highlight possible or desirable legal developments in the Nordic countries.

Another aim with the conference is to constitute a starting point for a recurring forum within a couple of years` interval. 

Susanne Fransson & Eberhard Stüber, June 2012

Sidansvarig: Eberhard Stüber|Sidan uppdaterades: 2012-11-02

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