Discrimination belongs to the most political topics on the EU's plate. In its case law, the Court of Justice extended the responsibility for achieving equality also to private actors: to employers who are hiring (C-54/07 Feryn) but also to those who are not (C-507/18 NH). Furthermore, the ECJ took a rather ambivalent stance to “workplace ideological neutrality” in C-157/15 Achbita and C-188/15 Bougnaoui, issued on the same day. Its position has, however, become considerably more radical in its recent ruling in C-804/18 WABE and MH Müller where it held that “ideological neutrality” can even amount to direct (!) discrimination. Where does this line of case-law leave us? The paper will focus on the tension between religious freedom and freedom to conduct business and will set the ECJ's case law into a broader context, including the ECtHR's jurisprudence and wider theoretical considerations of human rights enforcement and balancing.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!