and Their Relation to
State Constitutional Law,
This chapter focuses on certain developments of the equality paradigm of special relevance to the protection of minorities. Some attention is also given to the implications of the equality principle for subnational constitutions and the concomitant autonomy of the subnational units. In view of this focus, it seems appropriate to start by setting out the general framework concerning the close, intricate relationship between equality (considerations) and minority protection. By way of introduction to that discussion, a couple conceptual remarks concerning the equality principle need to be made so as to facilitate the ensuing analysis.
Several dimensions of the equality principle can be distinguished, including equality before the law and equal protection by the law, but the most well-known ones are the prohibition of discrimination and affirmative action (or positive discrimination). Furthermore, a crucial