Structural Inequalities and Perspectives to Judge: Adjudicating Towards Substantive Equality

The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice (MSCJ) has developed three protocols related to different types of discrimination: gender-based discrimination, ethno-racial discrimination, and discrimination against persons with disabilities. I analyze the use of the three differential perspectives as tools for facing complex forms of discrimination that are deeply rooted in structural social inequalities: sexism, racism, and ableism. Drawing on the sociological concepts of structural and categorical inequality, I analyze cases in which the MSCJ has used the protocols and identify whether the judgment addresses the structural dimension of inequality. The analysis shows that, most of the judgments do not incorporate the structural side and tackle only the discriminatory outcome. I argue that the foundation of differential perspectives to judge should be the structural problem that underlies discriminatory practices.