New institutions for promoting equality in Europe: legal transfers, national bricolage and European governance

B. de Witte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The recent evolution of european union equality law, and the equality law of single european countries, is marked by the increased attention given to the procedural and institutional preconditions for the effective protection against discrimination. In this context, the creation of public bodies specially tasked with the promotion of equal treatment (equality institutions), which used to be a specific feature of only some european countries, such as the united kingdom and the netherlands, as well as some non-european countries such as the united states, is now common all over europe. The immediate reason for this development is that equality institutions have been imposed on all eu member states by means of a series of eu directives in the early years of this century. From a comparative law perspective, we can observe here an interesting example of legal transfer which leaves much room for bricolage at the national level, and has given rise to a hybrid legal regime which combines legal rights with softer mechanisms of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-74
JournalThe American Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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