Research Handbook on the Politics of EU Law
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Research Handbook on the Politics of EU Law

Edited by Paul James Cardwell and Marie-Pierre Granger

Offering a wealth of thought-provoking insights, this topical Research Handbook analyses the interplay between the law and politics of the EU and examines the role of law and legal actors in European integration.
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Chapter 11: Everyone is equal, but some more than others: judicial governance of EU anti-discrimination law

Amalie Frese


EU anti-discrimination law was initially only constituted by a principle of equal pay, but developed into a core principle and comprehensive body of directly effective rules in the hands of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). This chapter explores key properties of this development; the CJEU’s judicial governance in the domain of anti-discrimination law; and the extent of contestation by Member States of the rule of the CJEU the dynamic exchange of which has been driving the legislative and judicial development. The chapter accounts for a development in three stages: first, the consolidating period of the 1970s, when the CJEU established general formal equality rights; secondly, the expansion of the equal pay conception in the 1980s and 1990s; and thirdly, the period after the Amsterdam Treaty when the CJEU’s judicial governance unfolded on a different legislative basis with the Article 19 TFEU Directives and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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