1. European Union and Comparative Law of Equality and non Discrimination
This post-graduate course aims at examining the concept of discrimination and the principle of equality in EU law as well as in the national legal cultures of the EU member states. The course starts with fundamental philosophical concepts regarding equality and non discrimination in different legal cultures and the emergence of the principle in the EU law and policies. The course examines the free movement of persons and the protection of immigrants. Besides the nationality criterion, other criteria for discrimination are analysed such as race, gender equality (e.g. equal pay of men and women), religion and beliefs, disabilities, sexual orientation (LGBT) and age. Such criteria are based on the TFEU and the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights, EC Directives 2000/43, 2000/78, 76/207 etc. compared with the European Convention for Human Rights, UN International Conventions and Covenants, and national legislations e.g. in Sweden, Italy, UK, Greece etc, along with affirmative action. Further new discrimination criteria are examined such as schizophrenia, drug addiction and rehabilitation, obesity, genetic characteristics and social stereotypes.
This course approaches the law of equality and non-discrimination from a comparative perspective. For this purpose, it is divided into three parts. The first part examines the concept of comparative law, the importance and the peculiarities of its use in relation to the law of equality and non-discrimination, as well as the international, supranational and national sources of this law. The second part examines, with the help of comparative law, the basic legal concepts of equality law and non-discrimination (i.e. the concepts of formal and substantive equality and the concepts of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and positive action). The third part explores the most important of the prohibited grounds of discrimination (i.e. gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability), the problems that generate discrimination based on one or more of these grounds, and finally the solutions that are given to these problems by the EU and the ECHR law and the national legal orders.