National equality institutions and the domestication of EU non-discrimination law

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The recent evolution of european union equality law, and the equality law of european countries more generally, is marked by the increased attention given to the procedural and institutional preconditions for the effective protection of equal treatment. The creation of public bodies, specifically tasked with the advancement of equality law and equality policies (equality institutions), is an important element of this evolution. Within europe, they were first experimented with in the united kingdom and then gradually adopted in a small number of other countries. In 2000 and subsequent years, though, the creation of equality institutions was imposed on all eu member states by means of three anti-discrimination directives. The concrete shape and scope of activity of those institutions is still very different from country to country, though. The development of new equality institutions in europe was facilitated by other legal traditions and processes: the separate ombudsman tradition developed in scandinavia but with a strong influence also in southern europe; the international movement towards the creation of national human rights institutions; and endogenous developments of eu law, such as its increased concern for the institutional dimension of the effective application of eu law, and its experimentation with new modes of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-178
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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