5. Protected grounds – Handbook on European non-discrimination law

Handbook on European non-discrimination lawContents

EU Issues covered CoE
TFEU, Art. 8 and Art. 157 Sex ECHR, Art. 2 (right to life), Art. 3 (prohibition of torture), Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ECtHR, Emel Boyraz v. Turkey, No. 61960/08, 2014

ECtHR, Konstantin Markin v. Russia [GC], 30078/06, 2012

ECtHR, Andrle v. the Czech Republic, No. 6268/08, 2011

ECtHR, Ünal Tekeli v. Turkey, No. 29865/96, 2004

Charter of Fundamental Rights,
Art. 21 and 23
Gender Equality Directive (recast)
(2006/54/EC)
Gender Goods and Services
Directive (2004/113/EC)
CJEU, C-222/14, Maïstrellis v.
Ypourgos Dikaiosynis, Diafaneias
kai Anthropinon Dikaiomaton, 2015
CJEU, C-363/12, Z. v. A Government
department and The Board of
Management of a Community
School [GC], 2014
CJEU, C-167/12, C. D. v. S. T. [GC],
2014
CJEU, C-427/11, Kenny v. Minister
for Justice, Equality and Law
Reform, Minister for Finance
and Commissioner of An Garda
Síochána, 2013
CJEU, C-243/95, Hill and Stapleton
v. The Revenue Commissioners and
Department of Finance, 1998
CJEU, C-43/75, Defrenne v. Sabena,
1976
Gender Goods and Services Directive (2004/113/EC), Art. 4 (1)

CJEU, C-423/04, Richards v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, 27 April 2006

CJEU, C-117/01, K.B. v. NHS Pensions

Agency et Secretary of State for

Health, 7 January 2004

Gender identity ECHR, Art. 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ECtHR, Y.Y. v. Turkey, 14793/08, 2015

ECtHR, Hämäläinen v. Finland

[GC], No. 37359/09, 2014

ECtHR, Van Kück v. Germany,

No. 35968/97, 2003

Charter of Fundamental Rights, Sexual ECHR Art. 5, Art. 8 (right to respect for private and

family life), Art. 12 (right to marry), Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ECtHR, Taddeucci and McCall v. Italy, No. 51362/09, 2016

ECtHR, O.M. v. Hungary, No. 9912/15, 2016

ECtHR, E.B. and Others v. Austria, Nos. 31913/07, 38357/07, 48098/07, 48777/07 and 48779/07, 2013

ECtHR, Schalk and Kopf v. Austria, No. 30141/04, 2010

ECtHR, E.B. v. France [GC], No. 43546/02, 2008

ECtHR, S.L. v. Austria, No. 45330/99, 2003

ECtHR, Karner v. Austria, No. 40016/98, 2003

ECSR, INTERIGHTS v. Croatia,

No. 45/2007, 2009

Art. 21 orientation
Employment Equality Directive
(2000/78/EC)
CJEU, C-528/13, Léger v. Ministre
des Affaires sociales, de la Santé
et des Droits des femmes and
Etablissement français du sang,
2015
CJEU, Joined cases C-148/13
to C-150/13, A and Others v.
Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en
Justitie [GC], 2014
CJEU, Joined cases C-199/12,
C-200/12, C-201/12, X and Y, and
Z v. Minister voor Imigratie en
Asiel, 2013
CJEU, C-81/12, Asociaţia Accept
v. Consiliul Naţional pentru
Combaterea Discriminării, 2013
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC)

CJEU, C-363/12, Z. v. A Government

department and The Board of

Disability ECHR, Art. 8 (right to respect for private and family

life), Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ESC, Art. E

ECtHR, Guberina v. Croatia,

Management of a Community School [GC], 2014

CJEU, C-354/13, FOA v. KL, 2014

No. 23682/13, 2016

ECtHR, Glor v. Switzerland, No. 13444/04, 2009

CJEU, Joined cases C-335/11 and ECtHR, Pretty v. the United
C-337/11, HK Danmark, 2013 Kingdom, No. 2346/02, 2002
ECtHR, Price v. the United
Kingdom, No. 33394/96, 2001
ECSR, AEH v. France, Complaint
No. 81/2012, 2013
Charter of Fundamental Rights,

Art. 21

Age ECHR, Art. 5 (right to liberty and security), Art. 6 (right to fair trial) and Art. 8 (right to respect for private and family life)

ESC, Art. 1 (2), Art. 23 and

Art. 24

ECtHR, D.G. v. Ireland, No. 39474/98, 2002

ECtHR, Schwizgebel v. Switzerland, No. 25762/07, 2010

ECtHR, V.v. the United Kingdom

[GC], No. 24888/94, 1999

ECtHR, T. v. the United Kingdom [GC], No. 24724/94, 1999

ECtHR, Bouamar v. Belgium, No. 9106/80, 1988

ECSR, Fellesforbundet for Sjøfolk (FFFS) v. Norway,

Complaint No. 74/2011, 2013

Employment Equality Directive
(2000/78/EC)
CJEU, C-548/15, de Lange v.
Staatssecretaris van Financiën,
2016
CJEU, C-441/14, DI, acting on behalf
of Ajos A/S v. Estate of Karsten
Eigil Rasmussen [GC], C-441/14,
2016
CJEU, C-258/15, Salaberria Sorondo
v. Academia Vasca de Policía
y Emergencias [GC], 2016
CJEU, Joined cases C-501/12 and
others, Specht v. Land Berlin and
Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2014
CJEU, C-416/13, Vital Pérez v.
Ayuntamiento de Oviedo, 2014
CJEU, C-144/04, Mangold v. Helm
[GC], 2005
Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC)

Council’s Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia

CJEU, C-83/14, “CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria” AD v. Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia [GC], 2015

CJEU, C-54/07, Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v. Firma Feryn NV, 2008

Race, ethnicity, colour and membership of a national

minority

ECHR, Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination), Protocol No. 12, Art. 1 (General

prohibition  of discrimination)

ECtHR, Boacă and Others v. Romania, No. 40355/11, 2016

ECtHR, Biao v. Denmark [GC], 38590/10, 2016

ECtHR, Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina [GC], Nos. 27996/06 and 34836/06, 2009

ECSR, ERRC v. Ireland,

No. 100/2013, 2015

TFEU, Art. 18

Charter of Fundamental Rights,

Nationality or national origin Council of Europe’s Convention on Nationality

ECHR, Art. 3 (prohibition of torture), Art. 5 (right to liberty and security), Art. 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Protocol No. 4, Art. 3,

Protocol No. 1, Art. 2

ECtHR, Dhahbi v. Italy, No. 17120/09, 2014

ECtHR, Rangelov v. Germany, No. 5123/07, 2012

ECtHR, Ponomaryovi v. Bulgaria, No. 5335/05, 2011

ECtHR, Andrejeva v. Latvia

[GC], No. 55707/00, 2009

ECtHR, Zeïbek v. Greece, No. 46368/06, 2009

ECtHR, Anakomba Yula v. Belgium, No. 45413/07, 2009

ECtHR, Koua Poirrez v. France, No. 40892/98, 2003

ECtHR, C. v. Belgium, No. 21794/93, 1996

ECtHR, Moustaquim v. Belgium,

No. 12313/86, 1991

Art. 45
Citizenship Directive 2004/38/EC
Council Directive concerning the
status of third-country nationals
who are long-term residents
(2003/109/EC)
CJEU, C-392/15, European
Commission v. Hungary, 2017
CJEU, C-165/14, Alfredo Rendón
Marín v. Administración del Estado
[GC], 2016
CJEU, C-571/10, Kamberaj v. IPES
[GC], 2012
CJEU, C-508/10, European
Commission v. the Netherlands,
2012
CJEU, C-200/02, Chen v. Secretary
of State for the Home Department,
2004
CJEU, C-281/98, Angonese v. Cassa
di Risparmio di Bolzano SpA, 2000
CJEU, Case 186/87, Cowan v. Trésor
public, 1989
Charter of Fundamental Rights, Art. 10 and 21

CJEU, C-188/15, Bougnaoui and ADDH v. Micropole SA [GC], 2017

CJEU, C-157/15, Achbita and Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding

v. G4S Secure Solutions NV [GC], 2017

Religion or belief ECHR, Art. 3 (prohibition of torture), Art. 8 (right to respect for private and family life),

Art. 9 (freedom of religion), Art. 10 (right to respect for private and family life), Protocol No. 1, Art. 2 (right to education)

ECtHR, İzzettin Doğan and Others v. Turkey [GC],

No. 62649/10, 2016

ECtHR, Ebrahimian v. France, No. 64846/11, 2015

ECtHR, S.A.S. v. France [GC], No. 43835/11, 2014

ECtHR, Eweida and Others

v. the United Kingdom, Nos. 48420/10, 59842/10,

51671/10 and 36516/10, 2013

ECtHR, Vojnity v. Hungary, No. 29617/07, 2013

ECtHR, Milanović v. Serbia, No. 44614/07, 2010

ECtHR, O’Donoghue and Others v. the United Kingdom, No. 34848/07, 2010

ECtHR, Alujer Fernandez and Caballero García v. Spain (dec.), No. 53072/99, 2001

ECtHR, Cha’are Shalom Ve Tsedek v. France [GC],

No. 27417/95, 2000

Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC)

CJEU, C-317/14, European Commission v. Belgium, 2015

Language Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

ECHR, Art. 6 (3) and Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ECtHR, Macalin Moxamed Sed Dahir v. Switzerland (dec.), No. 12209/10, 2015

ECtHR, Case ‘relating to certain aspects of the laws on the

use of languages in education in Belgium’ v. Belgium,

No. 1474/62 and others, 1968

Charter of Fundamental Rights, Art. 21

CJEU, C-149/10, Chatzi v. Ypourgos Oikonomikon, 2010

Social origin, birth and property ECHR, Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination), Protocol No. 1, Art. 1 (Protection of property)

ECtHR, Wolter and Sarfert v. Germany, Nos. 59752/13 and 66277/13, 2017

ECtHR, Chassagnou and Others.

v. France [GC], No. 25088/94

and others, 1999

Charter of Fundamental Rights, Art. 21 Political or other opinion ECHR, Art. 3 (prohibition of torture), Art. 10 (right to

respect for private and family life), Art. 11 (freedom of assembly and association), Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ECtHR, Redfearn v. the United Kingdom, No. 47335/06, 2012

ECtHR, Virabyan v. Armenia,

No. 40094/05, 2012

CJEU, C-406/15, Milkova

v. Izpalnitelen direktor na Agentsiata za privatizatsia

i sledprivatizatsionen kontrol, 2017

Other status ECHR, Art. 14 (prohibition of discrimination)

ESC, Art. E

ECSR, Associazione Nazionale Giudici di Pace v. Italy, Complaint No. 102/2013, 2016

ECtHR, Varnas v. Lithuania,

No. 42615/06, 2013

Key points

  • The principle of non-discrimination does not prohibit all differences in treatment, but only those differences based on one of the protected grounds.
  • Protected ground is an identifiable, objective or personal characteristic, or ‘status’, by which individuals or groups are distinguishable from one another.
  • Under the EU non-discrimination directives, the protected grounds are expressly fixed to: sex, racial or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
  • Under the ECHR there is an open-ended list which may be developed on a case-by- case basis.

Under EU law, the non-discrimination directives prohibit differential treatment based on certain ‘protected grounds’, containing a fixed and limited list of protected grounds. These grounds cover sex (Gender Goods and Services Directive (2004/113/EC)430, Gender Equality Directive (recast) (2006/54/EC)),431 sexual orientation, disability, age or religion or belief (Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC)432), and racial or ethnic origin (Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC)433). Article 21 of the EU Charter also contains a prohibition on discrimination, which contains a non-exhaustive list of grounds, implied by a formulation ‘such as’.434 The EU Charter binds the EU institutions, but it will also apply to the Member States when they are interpreting and applying EU law.

A ‘protected ground’ is a characteristic of an individual that should not be considered relevant to the differential treatment or enjoyment of a particular benefit.

Under the ECHR, Article 14 contains an open-ended list, which coincides with the directives, but goes beyond them. Article 14 states that there shall be no discrimination “on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.” The category of ‘other status’ has allowed the ECtHR to include those grounds (among others) that are expressly protected by the non-discrimination directives, namely: disability, age and sexual orientation.

Contents

5. Protected grounds

5.1. Sex

5.2. Gender identity

5.3. Sexual orientation

5.4. Disability

5.5. Age

5.6. Race, ethnicity, colour and membership of a national minority

5.7. Nationality or national origin

5.8. Religion or belief

5.9. Social origin, birth and property

5.10. Language

5.11. Political or other opinion

5.12. ‘Other status’

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