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Home >> Equinet Activities >> Events >> 2012 Equinet High-Level Legal Seminar - 28 March, Brussels

2012 Equinet High-Level Legal Seminar - 28 March, Brussels

March 30th 2012
Building on the success of past editions, Equinet organized on 28 March 2012 its fourth High-Level Legal Seminar on "Discrimination cases in front of the European Courts and the role of national equality bodies".

Discrimination cases in front of the European Courts and the role of National Equality Bodies

Equinet has compiled a summary of the main discussions, arguments and ideas from the seminar. You can access this summary below.

2012 Equinet Legal Seminar Summary
2012 Equinet Legal Seminar Summary


Last year Equinet organised a highly appreciated 3rd edition of its Legal Seminar on the topic of Legal Developments and Concepts in the Field of Equality and Non-Discrimination in Europe. Building on the very positive feedback received for that event, Equinet this year aimed to provide senior legal expert participants with insights into the cutting edge of European court cases and procedures in the field of equality and non-discrimination.

This year’s Legal Seminar, which was held on 28 March 2012, addressed the topic of Discrimination cases in front of the European Courts and the role of National Equality Bodies. The seminar:
- presented recent developments in the CJEU’s judgments with regard to equal treatment;
- explored and discussed how national equality bodies can make use of their powers in relation to litigation before national and European courts;
- discussed possible and potential interpretations of the existing laws;
- provided an opportunity for senior lawyers of national equality bodies to meet and exchange with other senior legal experts and practitioners in the field of non-discrimination law.
The seminar was adressed to legal experts and practitioners involved in anti-discrimination law – including senior legal staff/experts from national equality bodies, from the European Institutions, agencies and other international organisations, from national and European NGOs, the academic world and social partners active in the field of non-discrimination and equal treatment law.

Agenda, information packs and presentations

The agenda of the seminar, which can be downloaded here, was developed around the following general structure:
- Session 1 - Litigating discrimination cases in front of the CJEU;
- Session 2 - Involvement of national equality bodies in CJEU proceedings;
- Session 3 - Key discrimination cases at national and European level.
Other relevant items from the participants’ information packs include the speakers’ biographies, the list of registered participants, and two publications (the Equinet report on Influencing the law through legal proceedings - Powers and practices of equality bodies, and the EC publication How to present a discrimination claim - Handbook on seeking remedies under the EU Non-discrimination Directives).
Several presentations and speeches delivered by the speakers are available below:
- Robin Allen - The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU in discrimination cases, with a focus on the potential role and added value of national equality bodies in these procedures (presentation and speech);
- Clare Collier - The challenges of convincing national courts to refer a case and certain specific questions to the CJEU – lessons from particular cases (presentation);
- Nanna Margrethe Krusaa - The different options for national equality bodies to get involved in CJEU proceedings (presentation);
- Esen Fikri - The Belov case (C-394/11) and the actions of the Bulgarian equality body (presentation);
- Peter Reading - A question of faith: Religious discrimination and article 9 ECHR claims (presentation);
- Lilla Farkas - Right to Information in anti-discrimination litigation concerning private employment. The Galina Meister case. (presentation);
- Felipe Temming - Compulsory retirement and the fixing of a maximum age for recruitment - lawful or unlawful age discrimination? (paper and speech).
Apart from these items, of further interest would also be the latest Case Law Update to the Handbook on non-discrimination developed by the FRA-ECtHR (available for download here).

Suggested readings prior to the seminar

Cases (ECJ database is available here):
- Session 1: Feryn (C-54/07); Coleman (C-303/06); N.S. v Home Department (C-411/10);
- Session 2: Dorsch (C-54/96); Belov (C-394/11);
- Session 3: Ladele, Eweida, McFarlane petitions to the ECtHR; AG Opinion in Galina Meister case (C-415/10); Prigge v Lufthansa (C-447/09); Wolf (C-229/08); Petersen (C-341/08); Fuchs & Koehler v Land Hessen (C-159/10 and C-160/10).