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2011 | 94 | 2 | 145-160

Article title

CONCEPT AND FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION IN LABOUR LAW IN THE LIGHT OF CASE LAW OF THE EU COURT OF JUSTICE (Pojem a formy diskriminacie v pracovnom prave vo svetle judikatury Sudneho dvora EU)

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Regulations issued in early third millennium were the first to define not only the term of indirect discrimination, but also the term of direct discrimination. Although these elementary terms are defined in both the EU secondary law and the application practice, problems with their interpretation still persist and are directly related to the fundamental human right - prohibition of discrimination. The correct definition of these basic terms is also required for the judicial practice of the EU Member States, because national courts of the Member States are competent to decide on actions in case of the violation of the prohibition of discrimination. In the recent years the abundant case law of the EU Court of Justice brought more light into definition of the term of direct and indirect discrimination. The judicial practice justly expected in particular the legal interpretation of the prohibition of discrimination in relation to indicia of discrimination on the basis of age, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, belief and religion. From the case law of the EU Court of Justice it results that correct legal identification of the existence of direct discrimination or indirect discrimination is not simple. It is even truer for the terms of harassment, sexual harassment and incitation to discrimination that are explicitly regarded by the regulations as the forms of discrimination. The correct definition of the terms of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and incitation to discrimination is currently even more important, because in the application practice the number of cases of violation of the prohibition of discrimination, not only on the ground of gender but also for other reasons, is increasing. Victims of different forms of discrimination in labour relations currently lack the courage to defend their rights in court. Also the courts in the Slovak Republic presently have not excessive legal information about these problems.


  • Prof. JUDr. Helena Barancova, DrSc., Pravnicka fakulta Trnavskej univerzity, Trnava, Slovak Republic


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