The role of the right to equality in the context of economic inequalities

Publié le 27 février par Institut du genre

A conference with Sandra Fredman, Rhodes Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA at the University of Oxford.

Discussion : Marie Mercat-Bruns, Affiliated Professor at Sciences Po Law School and tenured Associate Law Professor in Private Law and in Labor and Employment Law at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM DISST).

In many jurisdictions, a sharp divide is drawn between economic inequality and ‘status-based’ inequalities, or inequalities due to gender or race. Economic inequalities are generally regarded as a matter of social policy, to be dealt with through the political system. Status-based inequalities, by contrast, have been constructed in terms of legal rights, such as the constitutional right to equality or anti-discrimination laws, enforced through courts.

These boundaries have always disguised the extent of interaction between the two spheres. But three recent developments have put these demarcations under particular strain.

Sandra Fredman argues that it is no longer tenable to keep the two spheres separate. Policies aimed at addressing economic inequalities without considering the implications for status-based inequality can reinforce the latter. By contrast, anti-discrimination laws aimed at status inequalities can be ineffective if not allied with policies aimed at economic inequality.

Lundi 9 mars 2020, 17h-19h
Amphithéâtre Jacques Chapsal, 27 rue Saint Guillaume, 75007 Paris

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