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Laws 2015, 4(1), 82-90; doi:10.3390/laws4010082

The Uneasy Marriage between Law and Equality

Faculty of Law, University of Groningen, Postbus 716, 9700 AS Groningen, The Netherlands
Academic Editor: Robert Johnson
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [174 KB, uploaded 2 February 2015]

Abstract

There are two ways in which the social ideal of equality has found expression in the law: in the principle of equal treatment and in the principle of non-discrimination. In this article the meaning of these two legal principles is analysed, in order to answer the question to what extent they can be said to contribute to equality in the sense of an equal distribution of collective resources. It is argued that whereas the first just requires decision-making to be rule-based, the second principle demands that rules should be based on sound categorical distinctions. Neither of the two can, however, sensibly be linked to equality as equal distribution. The article concludes that the only way to establish such a link is by adding to the principle of non-discrimination “financial resources” as a suspect ground. View Full-Text
Keywords: principle of differential treatment; principle of equality; principle of equal treatment; principle of non-discrimination; right to equality principle of differential treatment; principle of equality; principle of equal treatment; principle of non-discrimination; right to equality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Westerman, P.C. The Uneasy Marriage between Law and Equality. Laws 2015, 4, 82-90.

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