Discrimination is one of the most common forms of human rights violations, but since it can assume many forms and expressions it is not always easy to recognize, prevent or fight. Moreover, discrimination can affect people in almost any area of their public and private life: employment, education, housing, access to goods and services, family life etc., each area requiring a different and specific set of norms. The course begins with an introduction to the different formulations and concepts of equality and an overview of the U.S., European, and other national and international anti-discrimination law systems. It then focuses on anti-discrimination and equality law in European countries which is characterized by the existence of different layers of norms and institutions, which overlap and cooperate. Particular attention is paid to recent developments in the protection from discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, disability, in light of the most significant domestic constitutional case-law as well as through the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union leading cases. The final part of the course is dedicated to the role of advocacy, lobbying and litigation strategies: instruments that have proved to be crucial for the fast development of European anti-discrimination law over the past few decades.
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