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CJEU Case C-507/18 /Judgment

NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI - Rete Lenford

Policy area:
Employment and social policy
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Grand Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
23/04/2020

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Equal treatment in employment and occupation — Directive 2000/78/EC — Article 3(1)(a), Article 8(1) and Article 9(2) — Prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation — Conditions for access to employment or to occupation — Concept — Public statements ruling out recruitment of homosexual persons — Article 11(1), Article 15(1) and Article 21(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Defence of rights — Sanctions — Legal entity representing a collective interest — Standing to bring proceedings without acting in the name of a specific complainant or in the absence of an injured party — Right to damages

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. The concept of ‘conditions for access to employment … or to occupation’ in Article 3(1)(a) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation must be interpreted as covering statements made by a person during an audiovisual programme according to which that person would never recruit persons of a certain sexual orientation to his or her undertaking or wish to use the services of such persons, even though no recruitment procedure had been opened, nor was planned, provided that the link between those statements and the conditions for access to employment or occupation within that undertaking is not hypothetical.
  2. Directive 2000/78 must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation under which an association of lawyers whose objective, according to its statutes, is the judicial protection of persons having in particular a certain sexual orientation and the promotion of the culture and respect for the rights of that category of persons, automatically, on account of that objective and irrespective of whether it is a for-profit association, has standing to bring legal proceedings for the enforcement of obligations under that directive and, where appropriate, to obtain damages, in circumstances that are capable of constituting discrimination, within the meaning of that directive, against that category of persons and it is not possible to identify an injured party.