Handbook on European non-discrimination law

Objectives - Why this project and for whom?

Applying non-discrimination law and facilitating access to justice

In this project, the FRA and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) developed a common handbook on European case-law on non-discrimination - this was the first collaboration effort between the two institutions. The handbook highlights and summarises in a didactical way the key legal and jurisprudential principles on European non-discrimination law.

By this, the FRA and the ECtHR aimed to improve the capacity of national courts and law enforcement authorities in EU Member States to apply the EU's non-discrimination law and the non-discrimination standards of the Council of Europe.

In addition, the handbook contributes to making the access to courts easier for members of minorities and vulnerable groups who wish to complain about discriminatory acts.

Details - What did the project involve?

Non-discrimination lawsuits on the increase

EU law, particularly in the area of non-discrimination, is increasingly being examined by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Aggrieved individuals, who have been unable to resolve their disputes through the application of EU and/or European Convention on Human Rights law in their national courts, turn to the ECtHR for a remedy involving the interpretation of EU law per se or as applied by Member States. The introduction and transposition of the EU anti-discrimination directives, proposals for a future ‘horizontal' directive on equal treatment and the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights mean that the ECtHR could be facing still increasingly issues of EU law, where these are not resolved satisfactorily at the national level.

In January 2010, the FRA and the ECtHR agreed to conclude a joint project which aims to increase the knowledge and domestic implementation of EU law and other legal instruments in the field of non-discrimination.

Innovation - What's 'new' about the project?

The handbook was developed in close collaboration with the ECtHR as well as partner networks in order to take into account initiatives such as the work done by the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-Discrimination field.

Outputs - What did the project deliver?

Handbook on European non-discrimination law:

  • aimed at judges, prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement officials;
  • to be translated by the FRA in selected EU languages.

This project page was last updated on 12.11.2012