Elena Gualco

The development of age and disability equality within the European Union: The Court of Justice and the (mis)implementation of EU general principles

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Over the years, EU general principles have proven to be an essential source of protection of equality. The approach followed by the Court of Justice of the European Union has made general principles one of the most effective sources of law towards the goal of expanding the protection of equality and improving its enforcement. Against this backdrop, the article argues that some recent decisions in the field of disability and age discrimination challenge the merits of such approach and eventually disclose its shortcomings. The ruling in Kaltoft shows at time a lack of consistency of the CJEU Court’s case-law and a far too discretional reasoning, while Dansk Industri and Parris demonstrate that the Court’s arbitrary approach has the capacity to ultimately jeopardise the effective and fair enjoyment of equality as an individual right.


  • EU general principles
  • direct effect
  • EU equality law
  • age discrimination
  • disability discrimination


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