Ec Sex Equality Law

Ec Sex Equality Law

Ec Sex Equality Law

Ec Sex Equality Law


This is the second edition of a well received book in the Oxford European Community Law Series. Evelyn Ellis's book is a detailed and critical examination of European Community sex equality law, as interpreted by the European Court of Justice. It contains a thorough analysis of the basic principles of Community law in the context of sex equality claims and a comprehensive discussion of equal pay, equal treatment and equality in relation to social security.


The subject of this book, the principle of equality for men and women in European Community law, is a subject of intrinsic importance in a variety of ways. It brings together questions of fundamental human rights, issues of great social importance, and policy matters of very considerable economic significance. Community law in this field has had, and is continuing to have, a substantial and immediate impact on such matters as pay, on access to and conditions of employment, on pensions, on social security benefits, etc.

However, many of the issues discussed in this book are of even wider significance. This is because the principles developed in the field of sex equality, and the lessons to be learnt, are often relevant across the whole field of Community law. It is remarkable to recall that the notion of equality for men and women figures only once in the Community Treaties, and that the provision in question, Article 119 of the ec Treaty, appears to be little more than a statement of principle, and is confined to the field of equal pay for equal work. Nor do the Treaties confer any specific legislative competence for the implementation of the principle of equal pay or of equal treatment generally. in these areas, perhaps more than anywhere else, the Court of Justice, and to some extent the Community legislature, have put flesh on the bones of the Treaty.

The role of the Court was strikingly apparent in its decision in 1976 in the second Defrenne case which applied to Article 119 the principle of direct effect, requiring the courts of the Member States to enforce its provisions directly. the article has continued to take on new life in the recent case-law, most notably in relation to the position of part-time workers and in relation to occupational pension schemes. On the legislative front, a series of major measures on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment in various sectors has in turn given rise to a substantial volume of case-law, extending most recently to such sensitive issues as the rights of transsexuals and the subject of affirmative action. the issues are so sensitive that some critics of the Court might accuse it of occasionally sacrificing legal correctness on the altar of political correctness.

There can however be no doubt that many principles of fundamental importance to the Community legal system are to be found in the Court's case-law on sex equality, including the use as an exceptional judicial . . .

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