Organising EU non-discrimination law around the nodes of ‘race’ gender and disability?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


EU non-discrimination law has seen a proliferation of discrimination grounds from 2000. Dis-crimination on grounds of gender (in the field of equal pay) and on grounds of nationality (generally within the scope of application of EU law) were the only prohibited forms of discrimination in EU law, until the Treaty of Amsterdam empowered the Community to legislate in order to combat discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation (Article 13 EC). Proliferation of non-discrimination grounds is also characteristic for international and national non-discrimination law. As such, proliferation of grounds results in an increase in potential cases of “multiple discrimination” and the danger of diluting the demands of equality law by ever more multiplication of grounds. The hierarchy of equality, which has been so widely criticised in EU law, is a signifier of the latter danger.
This chapter proposes to structure the confusing field of non-discrimination grounds by organising them around nodes of discrimination fields. It will first reflect different ways of establishing hierarchies between grounds. This will be followed by a recount of different (narrow and wide) reading of grounds. A comprehensive reading of the grounds gender, ‘race’ and disability as establishing overlapping fields of discrimination grounds will be mapped out, with some examples for practical uses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU Non-Discrimination Law and Intersectionality:
Subtitle of host publicationinvestigating the triangle of racial, gender and disability discrimination
PublisherAshgate Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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