The diversification of concepts in antidiscrimination law: the case of discrimination "by association" in front of ECJ and ECtHR

The concept of discrimination has substantially evolved since its first applications in the second part of the 20th century. Indeed, while internal law and international conventions only targeted discrimination grasped as rules causing a disadvantage towards a person or a group on the basis of an illegitimate criteria, new distinctions have emerged. The recent introduction of the category of discrimination by association as a new prohibited distinction is part of this evolution. Originally Canadian, discrimination by association was incorporated in European law under the influence of the ECJ and the ECtHR. The diversification of prohibited distinctions and discriminatory behaviors, to which the introduction of discrimination by association refers, aims at improving effectivity of non-discrimination law, by expanding its scope. This paper will address the introduction, and its effects, of this new category, focusing on the objectification of anti-discrimination law that results from it.