Access to justice in cases of discrimination in the EU – Steps to further equality

The principle of non-discrimination is firmly established in European Union (EU) legislation and includes provisions relating to access to justice. This report examines the process of seeking redress in cases of discrimination. It provides a detailed analysis of what the EU Member State bodies that deal with cases of discrimination do to support possible victims of discrimination and to offer them redress. It examines the factors obstructing effective remedies, such as the complexity of the complaints system, which discourage people from bringing cases and reinforce victims’ feelings of helplessness

It also considers the factors that best enable effective remedies, such as legal advice. In addressing these issues, access to justice is understood broadly. To capture the various models of access to justice in cases of discrimination across the EU, eight Member States were selected for closer scrutiny: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. In addition to the geographic spread, this selection presents a range of systems that diverge from each other in history, structure, scale and institutional mandate. The report explores how aspects of these different systems can be enhanced and applied more broadly across the EU.