From a "Common Principle of Equality" to "European Antidiscrimination Law"

B. de Witte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The principle of equality is an important part of the contemporary constitutional law of all European countries. It is therefore a "common" principle, and was, as such, also integrated in the legal system of the European Communities. However, this common principle of equality was modernized and modified by a series of specific antidiscrimination laws adopted in the European Union, mainly during the past decade. This contribution explores the ways in which those recent antidiscrimination laws have modified the traditional understanding of equality law in Europe and are giving "teeth" to the abstract principle of equality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1715-1730
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • European Community law
  • horizontal effect of rights
  • indirect discrimination
  • positive action
  • principle of equality
  • suspect grounds

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