This study, carried out by Katrin Wladasch of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut of Human Rights, aims to identify different types of sanctions as a tool for fostering the implementation of the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination. A specific focus is given to the (potential) role of equality bodies in strengthening effectiveness, proportionality and dissuasiveness of sanctions’ regimes.
An acknowledgement of the need to use sanctions as a tool for fostering the factual implementation of the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination is rooted in the EU Equal Treatment Directives. These Directives oblige Member States to lay down rules on sanctions for cases of infringement and to take all measures necessary to ensure that they are applied. The sanctions, which may comprise the payment of compensation to the victim, must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive .
The Directives however, do not provide any guidance as to the nature of such sanctions, nor do they set a minimum standard or even lay down who should be the body in charge of issuing such sanctions. They leave the interpretation of what they would consider as ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’ to the national legislator. Consequently, the concrete regimes of sanctions and remedies are very diverse throughout Europe.
Sanctions have to be adequate in relation to their respective aims, such as:
These aims are also reflected in the three parameters for sanctions and remedies defined in the EU Anti-Discrimination Directives, when they require sanctions and remedies to be characterised by
This study, which aims to identify different types of sanctions, challenges in implementing them and ways to make them more effective, answers five main questions: