Barbara Havelková
Author’s affiliation: Lincoln College and Faculty of Law, University of Oxford

Sex Discrimination before Czech Courts – Typology of Cases, Evasion Strategies, and Fear of Protected Grounds

Jurisprudence 2/2019 Section: Articles Page: 1–12

Keywords: discrimination, equality, sex-gender, judicial application, formalism, protected grounds

Abstract: In Czechia, anti-discrimination law is not faring well. Using the example of sex discrimination, the paper shows and attempts to explain this. Czech ordinary courts have had problems with the most basic tenets of the concept of discrimination. The cases examined exhibit defects both substantive and procedural, which have to do with inadequacies in the assessment of facts, as well as with their legal qualification. The paper discusses two problems in depth. Firstly, it identifies and analyses several evasion strategies, which the courts use to avoid deciding on merits, notably by focusing on jurisdictional, procedural or other formal and technical aspects. Secondly, it observes that the courts have been more open to finding breaches of the general principle of equality rather than discrimination on explicitly protected grounds, which indicates a lack of understanding of the specific types of wrong that ground-related anti-discrimination law aims to address.