CLEW Case Law Equality Work

In 1994, Congress published "European Case Law & Equality : A Guide for Negotiators". The guide was a categorised summary and analysis of EU case law in the area of equality compiled by Niamh Hyland BL and Brian Barrington BL. It was distributed through Congress affiliates to union officials dealing with equality cases. the guide, available in hard copy only, proved to be a valuable resource for trade union representatives promoting equality in the workplace. The original guide was updated by 'European Case Law and Equality Supplement, A Guide for Negotiators, which dealt with the law up to 31 December 1998.

Case Law Equality Work (CLEW) is an update of this original work that has been researched by Cliona Kimber BL. Published as a CD-ROM, it has been distributed widely through Congress affiliates, while an on-line version is made available here.

Introduction to Updated Guide

This updated Guide deals with European Union Law on Equality arising out of Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome and Equality Directives in the period 1 July 1994 to 30 January 2004. The contents, including the structure and a listing of the cases referenced, is available here.

As with the previous Guides, it is divided into five parts:

  • Introduction to the general principles of European Union Law
  • Equal Pay
  • Equal Treatment
  • Guide on Maternity, Paternity and Adoptive Leave
  • Guide on Social Security Provisions

The case law in each chapter is further divided into sections. The placing of a case in one or other section is not definitive since a number of cases cover more than one issue. In such instances, the case can be found in the section to which it relates most clearly.

The Appendices in the previous Guides provided information on the provisions of Article 119 of the Treaty, a recommendation on sexual harassment, and the nine directives.

This is a guide and not a casebook. The facts, key findings and comments on the cases are brief and in outline only. Facts and pleadings have been simplified and only those findings deemed most relevant to equality law are included. For a more comprehensive understanding of a particular cast it is advisable to consult the European Court Reports (ECR). Citations for these are given. A number of cases have, on going to print of this guide, not yet been reported in the European Court Reports. In regard to these cases the date of judgement is given and the information of these cases may be obtained by contacting the Court of Justice directly or by consulting its website at

The guide was launched by Ms Melanie Pine, Director of Equality Investigations of the Equality Tribunal, at a conference on 26 March 2004. An additional discussion document considering the implications for equality of the proposed EU Constitution, also discussed at the conference, is available here.

Congress acknowledges with thanks the support of the European Commission in publishing this update.