Erasmus School of Law

Prof. Henrard co-edited book on Anti-Discrimination Law

Prof. Kristin Henrard, Professor of Fundamental rights at Erasmus School of Law, edited the book EU Anti-Discrimination Law Beyond Gender. Her co-editor is prof. Uladzislau Belavusau from the Asser Institute. The book discusses the achievements, pitfalls and prospects of EU anti-discrimination law.

The EU has slowly but surely developed a solid body of equality law that prohibits different facets of discrimination. While the Union had initially developed anti-discrimination norms that served only the commercial rationale of the common market, focusing on nationality (of a Member State) and gender as protected grounds, the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) supplied five additional prohibited grounds of discrimination to the EU legislative palette. In 2000, two EU Equality Directives followed one focusing on race and ethnic origin, the other covering the remaining four grounds introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam, namely religion, sexual orientation, disabilities and age.

Eighteen years after the adoption of the watershed Equality Directives, it seems timely to dedicate a book to their limits and prospects, to look at the progress made, and to revisit the rise of EU anti-discrimination law beyond gender. This volume sets out to capture the striking developments and shortcomings that have taken place in the interpretation of relevant EU secondary law. Firstly, the book unfolds an up-to-date systematic reappraisal of the five ‘newer’ grounds of discrimination, which have so far received mostly fragmented coverage. Secondly, and more generally, the volume captures how and to what extent the Equality Directives have enabled or, at times, prevented the Court of Justice of the European Union from developing even broader and more refined anti-discrimination jurisprudence. Thus, the book offers a glimpse into the past, present and – it is hoped – future of EU anti-discrimination law as, despite all the flaws in the Union’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, it offers one of the highest standards of protection in comparative anti-discrimination law.

Book launch

There will be a book launch on 21 February from 15:30-18:00 at the Asser Institute in The Hague to present this book. The presentation will start with an introduction by the editors and followed by a panel discussion with four scholars from different universities. For more information about this event and the possibility to register, click here.


About prof. Henrard

Prof. Kristin Henrard is Professor of Fundamental Rights in particular of persons belonging to Vulnerable Groups, including Minorities at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR).  She is one of the coordinators of the Erasmus Migration and Diversity Institute (EUR). From February 2005 to May 2010 she worked on her VIDI- project which was granted by the Dutch Council for Scientific Research regarding the implications for minority protection of the Race Equality Directive. She has more than 160 publications, a substantial part of which concerns fundamental rights and minorities (covering a broad range of themes, including educational, religious and participatory rights in addition to the prohibition of discrimination). She continuously expands her range into multi-disciplinary papers pertaining to integration, and more recently she is also working on ‘vulnerability’ as a marker in human rights monitoring, and on ‘nationality’/’legal’ citizenship. She teaches courses on advanced public international law, international criminal law, human rights, and on minorities and fundamental rights.

About Dr Ulad Belavusau

Dr Ulad Belavusau is a Senior Researcher within the Asser’s research strand Human Dignity and Human Security in International and European LawOpent extern. This research strand adopts a human rights approach to global challenges in the field of counter-terrorism, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international trade, environmental protection, European private international law, and the law of EU external relations. It examines what it means to safeguard human dignity - also in relation to human security - in these areas.