15 Int'l J. Discrimination & L. 3 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/ijdisclw15 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Editorial                                                         IJO
                                                                    International journal of
                                                                 Discrimination and the Law
(lI)Iegitim         ate                                            2015, Vol. 15(1-2)3-10
                                                                    Kę The Author(s) 2014
differential treatm                  ent                           Reprints and permission:
                                                             DOI: 10.1177/1358229114558389
Elise Muir

Exploring the limits of equality law
Since the expiry of the transposition period of the Racial and Employment Equality Direc-
tives,1 national non-discrimination regimes have considerably developed. The past 10
years have been marked by the broadening of the scope of European Union (EU) non-
discrimination law,2 efforts to consolidate the definition of key legal concepts3 as well
as the constitutionalization of this area of law.4 Accession by the EU to the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2010 as well as the
prospect of accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) intensifies
the relevance of international law in the fight against discrimination across Europe.
Domestically, legislation, court judgments and equality bodies are building on this EU and
international law framework, thereby expanding the reach of non-discrimination law.
   In recent years however, some member states at the Council have proven reluctant to
extend the scope of EU non-discrimination legislation any further.5 The proposal for a direc-
tive to implement the principle ofequal treatment between persons irrespective ofreligion or
belief, disability, age or sexual orientation beyond employment and occupation to access to
goods and services is still stuck in the pipelines of the EU legislative process.6 One of the
common concerns expressed by some member states and reflecting objections raised by
employers and service providers is that non-discrimination law has gone far enough or may
actually have gone too far already, by imposing constraints on public and private actors.
   This special issues seeks to explore the underpinnings of this concern through a detailed
analysis of the use of exceptions and justifications to the prohibition of discrimination
under the existing provisions of EU law and the UNCRPD.9 For the purposes of this vol-
ume, 'exceptions' are situations that are excluded from the scope of non-discrimination
law and where different treatment is thus allowed, whilst 'justifications' are situations

Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Corresponding author:
Elise Muir, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, PO Box 616,6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Email: elise.muir@maastrichtuniversity.nl

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