Different Logics for Different Grounds? Resisting Uniformity in the Interpretation and Application of Discrimination Law-Prof Colm O’Cinneide (UCL)

by | Apr 7, 2016

Discrimination law is a legal success story. It has put down roots in multiple legal systems, and its scope of application has expanded to cover multiple different grounds of discrimination and spheres of human activity. However, it still remains a source of controversy. Uncertainty persists as to its purpose and justification, as well as to how legal prohibitions on discrimination should be interpreted and applied. Attempts have been made to identify a single normative foundation for discrimination law, which could form the basis for a uniform interpretative approach to be applied across all elements of discrimination law. However, it is questionable whether such a uniform approach is feasible or desirable. Discrimination law can be viewed as a multi-faceted set of legal responses to different forms of unequal treatment. As a consequence, different elements of discrimination law can and should be interpreted in different ways, within certain limits – meaning that for example approaches to gender or race equality need not for example to automatically carried over to the context of age or religious discrimination.

This event is being co-hosted with Oxford University Labour Law Discussion Group.

 

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