First European Conference on Multidimensional Equality Law

First European Conference on Multidimensional Equality Law

Developing Interdisciplinary Perspectives

The chair is pleased to announce the above mentioned conference for 11 and 12 May 2007. We are convinced that multidimensionality will be a major conceptual theme for European Equality Law for the years to come. European Equality policy has not yet a clear concept of rationales behind European Equality Law after multiplying the "discrimination grounds", i.e. the personal ascriptions discrimination for which is prohibited. At the same time, the challenges of achieving substantive equality (as opposed to formal equal treatment) and inclusion (in contrast to avoiding marginalisation) needs to be met. This is especially difficult if addressing disadvantage in several dimensions, as the challenge of doing justice to diverging phenomena of intersectionality still needs to be met. For this reason, we endeavour to convene a trans-European group of researchers collaborating on this theme. We consider a critical assessment of these issues beyond the reach of any one discipline. This is the reason why the first of our planned series of conferences focuses on interdisciplinary perspectives.

Results of conference 

A choice of conference papers will be published in the course of 2008 (see announcement by Routledge-Cavendish). The short summary of results made during the closing conference can be found here

in German 

in English 

For abstracts of papers, please click here

The programme was as follows:

11 May 2007

9.00 Registration

9.15 Opening of Conference by Prof. Dr. D. Schiek (Oldenburg)

9.30 Address by Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewind, President of Oldenburg University

9.45 – 12.45

Panel 1: From Discrimination to Human Rights Protection - what do multiple identities gain?
Chair: Prof. Dr. Th. Degener, (Bochum

Prof. Dr. O. M. Arnardóttir (Reykjavík): Multidimensional Equality from Within – Themes from the European Convention on Human Rights

Prof. S. Fredman, FBA (Oxford): Promoting Multi-Dimensional Equality: Positive Duties and Positive Rights

Prof. Dr. J. Goldschmidt (Utrecht): Justice beyond Equality – A Human Rights approach to Multidimensional Equality

Prof. Dr. R. Holtmaat (Leiden): Non-discrimination and equal rights laws: oscillating between equality and essentialism


14.00 - 16.30

Panel 2: From Single Ground to Multi-Ground Frameworks - Structuring the new legal and political framework
Chair: Prof. Dr. J. Gerards (Leiden)

Prof. Dr. R. Nielsen (Copenhagen): Is EU Equality law capable of addressing multiple and intersectional discrimination yet? Precautions against neglecting intersectional cases

C. O’Cinneide (LL.M), (London): Hard Choices: Confronting the Real Difficulties in Designing an Integrated Equality Law

I. Solanke (LL.M, PhD) (Norwich): Immutability and intersectionality

Panel 3: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intersectionality and Diversity
Chair: Dr. L. Potts (Oldenburg)

Dr. D. Ashiagbor (BA, MA) (London): The Intersection between gender and race in the European Labour Market: EC anti-discrimination law and the labour market integration of ethnic minority women

Prof. L. Morris (PhD), (Essex): Inequalities rooted in race and gender – an approach from the Sociology of Rights and Civic Stratification

U. Vieten (MA) (UEL, London): Intersectionality scope and multidimensional equality within the European Union: Traversing national boundaries of inequality

Buffet Supper

17.15 - 20.00                       

Public Panel 4: A Symbol of intersectionality in legal discourse – the Head Scarf enigma
Chair: Prof. Dr. D. Schiek (Oldenburg)

Prof. Dr. T. Loenen (Utrecht): The headscarf – linking the case law of the ECHR to the EC-directives dealing with discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and sex

Prof. Dr. E. Millard (Paris X): Ruling the Headscarf: Considering French Laicist Principles

Dr. L. Roseberry (Ass. Prof.) (Copenhagen): Religion, ethnicity and gender in the Danish headscarf debate

Prof. Dr. U. Sacksofsky (Frankfurt): Religion and equality in Germany - the headscarf debate from a "constitutional perspective”

Dinner for Speakers and participants who registered for it

12 May 2007

9.30 – 11.30

Panel 5: Multi-Ground Equality Law - new legal and policy approaches and enforcement policies
Chair: Gay Moon, Head of Equality Project at JUSTICE (London)

PD. Dr. E. Kocher (Hamburg) Enforcing multi-dimensional equality law - how to empower potential agents

Prof. Dr. K. Nousiainen (Helsinki): Law and Policy Mix in addressing multidimensional problems of equality – Scandinavian/Finnish perspectives V

Prof. Dr. H. Skeje (Oslo) Reorganising institutions for adressing multiple discrimination

Panel 6 Managerial and Economical Perspectives on Equality and Diversity
Chair: Dr. R. Craig (Oslo)

L. Barmes (LL.M, PhD), (University College London): impact of managerial ideas about diversity at European level, which is increasingly evident and has clear implications in relation to complicated issues of identity

Dr. C. Kilpatrick (LSE): How the new multiple grounds in EU equality law link into broader employment policy goals at EU level

M. Orton (Warwick) Redressing inequalities in employment through contract compliance a model for public sector organisations? 


12.30 – 15.30

Panel 7 Comparative approaches in Multidimensional Equality and Intersectional Discrimination in Europe
Chair: V. Chege (LL.M) (Oldenburg)

Dr. S. Burri/ Prof. Dr. A. Prechal: Different Approaches to Equality and Discrimination within Europe

Dr. S. Laulom (St. Etienne): French Legal Approaches to equality and discrimination for intersecting grounds with a focus on labour law

Prof. A. McColgan (King's College, London): UK Discrimination Law and the challenge of multidimensionality


Panel 8 Different approaches to Multidimensional Equality Politics in Europe
Chair: Dr. A. Albi (Kent)

Dr, M. Goodwin (Maastricht) Multidimensional Identities and socio-economic exclusion - the case of the Roma

JUDr. K. Koldinska (Praque) Multidimensional Equality in the Czech and Slovak Republic

Prof. Dr. U. LIebert (Bremen) / T. Evas (Bremen) Can EU norms on multiple discrimination be applied to Eastern Europe? Estonia and Latvia in comparative legal and statistical analysis

Coffee Break


Closing Session

Introduction (on the basis of the results): Prof. Dr. D. Schiek (Oldenburg)

For any further information, please contact us


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