Anti-Discrimination Law in Civil Law Jurisdictions - A Successful Transplant?

Event date
3 February 2021
Event time
17:00 - 19:00
Oxford week
Zoom Webinar
Barbara Havelková; Mathias Möschel; Kate O'Regan; Sandra Fredman; Colm O’Cinneide; Helen Mountfield QC

Notes & Changes

Register here. Please note that this event may be recorded, with the exception of any live audience questions.

Book Cover for Anti-Discrimination Law in Civil Law Jurisdictions.

This book panel will discuss the findings of a recently published edited volume on Anti-Discrimination Law in Civil Law Jurisdictions. Since anti-discrimination law and scholarship on it developed mainly in common law countries, the book breaks new ground by offering a sustained, critical, legal and socio-legal, comparative look at anti-discrimination in civil law jurisdictions of continental Europe. While anti-discrimination law is largely seen as a foreign transplant, it does not fare poorly across the board. As shown by the case studies in the book, the success of anti-discrimination law varies by country, time, ground, concept and area of law. The findings also suggest anti-discrimination law's success or fit in each jurisdiction is tied to various factors, from pre-existing law, to institutional choices and mobilization, to constitutional and legal foundations and narratives, to wider political and social context, especially in relation to the preference of individual or collective policy solutions.

Editors of the Book

Photo of Barbara Havelková.

Barbara Havelková is a Law Fellow at St Hilda’s College and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford. Barbara’s research and teaching interests include gender legal studies and feminist jurisprudence, equality and anti-discrimination law, constitutional law, EU law and law in post-socialist transitions. 

A photo of Mathias Möschel, pictured here in glasses and in a black sweater.

Mathias Möschel is Associate Professor and Head of Department as well as Chair of the Human Rights Program at the Legal Studies Department of Central European University (CEU), Vienna (Austria). His research, teaching and publications fall broadly in the field of comparative (constitutional) law, international human rights law and non-discrimination law, mainly from a critical race theory and legal feminist perspective. His latest publication is an edited volume on anti-discrimination law in civil law jurisdictions with Barbara Havelková (Oxford University Press, 2019). Mathias Möschel has obtained his undergraduate law degree from University of Milan (Italy), has a postgraduate diploma in comparative law from the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé de Strasbourg (France), an LL.M. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law (United States) and a Ph.D. from the European University Institute of Florence (Italy). He has held research and teaching positions at University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, New York University and at the Institut de Droit Comparé of University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). Besides his academic qualifications, he is also admitted to the New York Bar.


An image of Kate O'Regan.

Kate O'Regan is the inaugural Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and a former judge of the South African Constitutional Court (1994 – 2009). In the mid-1980s she practiced as a lawyer in Johannesburg in a variety of fields, but especially labour law and land law, representing many of the emerging trade unions and their members, as well as communities threatened with eviction under apartheid land laws.  In 1990, she joined the Faculty of Law at UCT where she taught a range of courses including race, gender and the law, labour law, civil procedure and evidence. Since her fifteen-year term at the South African Constitutional Court ended in 2009,  she has amongst other things served as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia (from 2010 - 2016), Chairperson of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in trust between the police and the community of Khayelitsha (2012 – 2014), and as a member of the boards or advisory bodies of many NGOs working in the fields of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and equality.

Photo of Sandra Fredman.

Sandra Fredman (FBA QC hon) is Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA at the University of Oxford. She founded the Oxford Human Rights Hub in 2012, of which she is the Director. She has published widely and has numerous peer reviewed publications in the fields of gender equality, labour law, and human rights. Her books include Comparative Human Rights (OUP, 2018); Human Rights Transformed (OUP 2008); Discrimination Law (OUP, 2nd ed 2011); and Women and the Law (OUP, 1997). She has been an expert advisor on equality for a variety of governments and organizations.

Photo of Colm O’Cinneide.

Colm O’Cinneide is Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law at University College London (UCL). A graduate of University College Cork, he has published extensively in the field of comparative constitutional, human rights and anti-discrimination law. He has also acted as specialist legal adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Women & Equalities Committee of the UK Parliament, and advised a range of international organisations including the UN, ILO and the European Commission. He also was from 2006-16 a member of the European Committee on Social Rights of the Council of Europe (serving as Vice-President of the Committee from 2010-4), and since 2008 has been a member of the academic advisory board of Blackstone Chambers in London.


A photo of Helen Mountfield QC.

Helen Mountfield QC is a British barrister and legal scholar, specialising in administrative, human rights, and equality law. She has appeared numerous times in the Supreme Court, European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the EU. She is a deputy High Court Judge, a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of the Channel Islands and judge of the Qatar International Disputes Resolution Court, is a qualified mediator and a bencher of Gray’s Inn. She has been Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford since 2018. 

Found within

Human Rights Law