Sandra Fredman is Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA at Oxford University, and a professorial fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005 and became a QC (honoris causa) in 2012.   She has written and published widely on anti-discrimination law, human rights law and labour law, including numerous peer-reviewed articles. She has authored four monographs: Comparative Human Rights (OUP, 2018);  Human Rights Transformed (OUP 2008); Discrimination Law (2nd ed, OUP 2011); and Women and the Law (OUP 1997), as well as two co-authored books: The State as Employer (Mansell, 1988), with Gillian Morris, and Labour Law and Industrial Relations in Great Britain (2nd ed Kluwer, 1992) with Bob Hepple. She has also edited several books: Human Rights and Equality in Education (Policy Press, 2018, with Meghan Campbell and Helen Taylor);  Discrimination and Human Rights: The Case of Racism (OUP, 2001); and Age as an Equality Issue (Hart, 2003 with Sarah Spencer). She was awarded a three year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship in 2004 to further her research into socio-economic rights and substantive equality. She is South African and holds degrees from the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Oxford. She has acted as an expert adviser on equality law and labour legislation in the EU, Northern Ireland, the UK, India, South Africa, Canada, Malaysia and the UN; and is a barrister practising at Old Square Chambers. She founded the Oxford Human Rights Hub in 2012, of which she is the Director.

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Displaying 1 - 72 of 72. Sorted by year, then title.
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  • S Fredman, ' Tolerating the Intolerant: Religious Freedom, Complicity, and the Right to Equality ' (2020) Oxford Journal of Religion and the Law 1
    Tolerance has always been a central principle underpinning freedom of religion. But what if a person’s deeply held beliefs include intolerance of others’ rights or freedoms? Does tolerance of religious difference include tolerating intolerant behaviours? The paradox of tolerance has been thrown into relief by recent case-law on ‘complicity’ claims by religious adherents. Complicity claims assert that freedom of religion includes the right to exemptions from laws which the claimant regards as making her complicit in the sinful behaviour of others. Accommodating such claims can be stigmatic and demeaning of third parties. This paper argues that, in the context of complicity claims, neither tolerance nor neutrality can determine what weight to be given to the conflicting interests. Rather, they operate to disguise background value judgements. Instead, a proportionality analysis should be applied which is based on a hierarchy of values which expressly locates itself in substantive equality. Using a multi-dimensional conception of the right to substantive equality, the paper examines recent case-law on complicity claims in the US, UK, Canada and under the ECHR. Part II sets up the analytic framework. Parts III and IV apply the analysis to complicity claims in relation to LGBTQI and reproductive rights respectively.
  • S Fredman, D. Du Toit, M. Graham and K. Howson, 'Thinking out of the Box: Fair Work for Platform Workers' (2020) 31 King's Law Journal 236
    The burgeoning gig economy largely operates outside of existing labour standards, mainly because in most countries workers are classified as self-employed rather than as employees. Until now, much legal effort has been focused on bringing platform workers within the scope of labour law by proving that they fit the definition of employee or worker, which functions as the gateway to employment rights. However, this approach is limited, not least because platforms are adept at reconfiguring their conditions of work to avoid the legal definition of employee,. By contrast, not enough attention has been paid to how labour law standards, fashioned for the ‘employee’ paradigm, should be reshaped to meet the needs of platform workers regardless of their employment status. It is these challenges that the Fairwork project in South Africa aims to address.. Funded by the ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund, the project, it aims to create pressure on platforms to improve working conditions through a public ranking system which scores selected platforms according to their record under five broad principles: fair pay, fair conditions, fair contract, fair management and fair representation.. Concurrently, we use the empirical work to develop standards capable of being given legally binding force. Given that the limited impact of legal regulation has prompted action to be taken outside of labour law in this area, what, if any, is the ongoing role of labour law? The paper argues that there is an important two-way interaction between rating standards and legal regulation. Part II examines pathways to change, setting out the project and its overall rationales. Part III examines the substance of the rating principles and their interaction with legal employment rights. Part IV touches on how rating principles might be translated into legally binding standards capable of responding to the needs of platform workers. It concludes that they should be seen as crucially complementary.
  • D. Du Toit, S Fredman and M. Graham, 'Towards Legal Regulation of Platform Work: Theory and Practice ' (2020) Industrial Law Journal (South Africa)
  • S Fredman, ' Taxation as a Human Rights Issue: Gender and Substantive Equality' in Alston P and Reisch N (eds), Tax, Inequality and Human Rights (Oxford University Press 2019)
    DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190882228.003.0004
    This chapter suggests a four-dimensional conception of substantive equality to evaluate the gendered impacts of taxation policies from a human rights perspective. The four-dimensional framework of substantive equality in relation to gender regards the right to equality as aiming to, first, redress disadvantage (the redistributive dimension); second, address stigma, stereotyping, prejudice, and hatred (the recognition dimension); third, facilitate participation and voice (the participative dimension); and, fourth, accommodate difference and transform gendered structures in society (the transformative dimension). This multidimensional conception of substantive equality functions as a valuable tool in evaluating taxation systems for their impact on gender. The chapter then looks at two particularly challenging aspects of taxation and gender: the role of care work, and the role of value-added tax (VAT) and other indirect taxes.
  • S Fredman, Comparative Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press 2018)
    DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199689408.001.0001
    Courts in different jurisdictions face similar human rights questions. Does the death penalty breach human rights? Does freedom of speech include racist speech? Is there a right to health? This book uses the prism of comparative law to examine the fascinating ways in which these difficult questions are decided. On the one hand, the shared language of human rights suggests that there should be similar solutions to comparable problems. On the other hand, there are important differences. Constitutional texts are worded differently; courts have differing relationships with the legislature; and there are divergences in socio-economic development, politics, and history. Nevertheless, there is a growing transnational conversation between courts, with cases in one jurisdiction being cited in others. Part I sets out the cross-cutting themes which shape the ways judges respond to challenging human rights issues. It examines when it is legitimate to refer to foreign materials; how universality and cultural relativity are balanced in human rights law; the appropriate role of courts in adjudicating human rights in a democracy; and the principles judges use to interpret human rights texts. The book is unusual in transcending the distinction between socio-economic rights and civil and political rights. Part II applies these cross-cutting themes to comparing human rights law in the US, UK, South Africa, Canada, and India. Its focus is on seven particularly challenging issues: the death penalty, abortion, housing, health, speech, education and religion, with the aim of inspiring further comparative examination of other pressing human rights issues
  • S Fredman, 'Direct and Indirect Discrimination: Is there still a divide?' in Hugh Collins; Tarunabh Khaitan (ed), Foundations of Indirect Discrimination Law (Bloomsbury 2018)
    In principle, the divide between direct and indirect discrimination is vivid. Yet recent developments in the jurisprudence of the courts in the US, the UK and Canada make it increasingly difficult to situate this divide. This raises the question as to why the interaction between the two concepts remains so tense and conflictual. Even more so, why has the UK address the tension by moving direct discrimination into an effects based mould, while the US jurisprudence tends to push disparate impact into a treatment-based mould. This chapter argues that there are four common themes. The first is a strong allegiance to a symmetric notion of equality and an aversion to affirmative action. The second is a continued attachment to an individualised notion of liability. Third there is an ambiguity as to the aims of an effects based test. Finally, not enough attention is paid to remedies and the ways in which discrimination should be overcome. The chapter examines these themes by comparing the case law in the US and the UK. The final section briefly canvasses possibilities of diluting or moving beyond the distinction.
  • S Fredman, 'Reimagining power relations: Hierarchies of disadvantage and affirmative action' in Penelope Andrews, Dennis Davis and Tabeth Masengu (eds), A Warrior for Justice: Essays in Honour of Dikgang Moseneke (Juta 2018)
  • S Fredman, 'Reviving Indirect Discrimination: Essop v Home Office' in D. Clarry (ed), The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Vol 8 2016-2017 Legal Year (Appellate Press 2018)
  • S Fredman, 'Substantive Equality Revisited ' (2016) 14 International Journal of Constitutional Law 712
    The limitations of a formal interpretation of the right to equality are now well recognized. However, the meaning of substantive equality remains deeply contested. This article argues that the right to substantive equality should not be collapsed into a single formula, such as dignity, or equality of opportunity or results. Instead, drawing on familiar conceptions, a four dimensional approach is proposed: to redress disadvantage; address stigma, stereotyping, prejudice, and violence; enhance voice and participation; and accommodate difference and achieve structural change. This reflects the principle that the right to equality should be responsive to those who are disadvantaged, demeaned, excluded, or ignored. The four-dimensional approach is deliberately framed in terms of dimensions, to permit us to focus on their interaction and synergies, rather than asserting a pre-established lexical priority. Drawing attention to all the dimensions and insisting on building complementarities can move us positively towards furthering substantive equality. Conflicts should be addressed by referring to the whole framework, to create a synthesis rather than prioritizing. It is thus not a definition, but an analytic framework to assess and assist in modifying laws, policies and practices to better achieve substantive equality.
  • S Fredman, 'Women and Poverty: A human rights approach' (2016) 24 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 494
    DOI: 10.3366/ajicl.2016.0170
    The aim of this article is to provide a framework within which human rights and development policies can work together to address the specific ways in which women experience gendered poverty. A human rights approach begins by insisting that women are rights-bearers, not merely beneficiaries. This, in turn, carries with it correlative duties on states and other powerful actors. At the same time, engendered human rights require an understanding of both human rights and their correlative duties which incorporates the insights of substantive equality. Rather than the traditional view of human rights as protections against state intrusion on individual liberty, they should be seen as harnessing state power to facilitate genuine exercise of choice and agency. Engendered human rights aim to take account of the power relations in which rights are exercised. Drawing on the ‘capabilities’ approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, they aim to enhance the set of feasible options open to women. At the same time, they are not merely about personal choice. Many aspects of women’s lives are based on responsibility, care and interdependence. Thus engendered human rights should also support the values of interdependence, solidarity and care, whether or not based on choice.Moreover, engendered human rights are not only about women. They address the gendered relationships in society. The first section of this article briefly outlines the specific ways in which gender discrimination causes and perpetuates poverty. The second section develops the principles of engendered human rights and creates a framework to assess development policies from the perspective of human rights and substantive equality. The third section applies this analysis to evaluate two popular current policies for dealing with women in poverty: conditional cash transfer programmes (CCTPs) and micro-financing or micro-credit.
  • S Fredman, 'Living Trees or Deadwood: The Interpretive Challenge of the European Convention on Human Rights' in N. Barber (ed), Lord Sumption and the Limits of the Law (2016)
  • S Fredman, 'Living Trees or Deadwood: The Interpretive Challenge of the European Convention on Human Rights' in N. Barber , R. Ekins and P. Yowell (eds), Lord Sumption and the Limits of the Law (Hart 2016)
  • S Fredman and Judy Fudge, 'The Contract of Employment and Gendered Work' in Mark Freedland, Alan Bogg, David Cabrelli, Hugh Collins, Nicola Countouris, A.C.L. Davies, Simon Deakin, and Jeremias Prassl (eds), The Contract of Employment (OUP 2016)
  • S Fredman, 'Are Human Rights Culturally Determined? A Riposte to Lord Hoffmann' in Paul S Davies, Justin Pila (ed), The Jurisprudence of Lord Hoffmann (Hart 2015)
    The relationship between issues which are universal and those which are culturally determined is a vexed one in human rights law. This paper critiques Lord Hoffmann's view that different communities should, through their legislatures and judges, adopt the answers which they think suit them. It argues that it is wrong to assume that either there is a right answer to human rights questions or such questions are culturally determined. Instead, it is through a process of deliberation and accountability, both nationally and cross nationally that human rights take on a dynamic role in society. Using comparative materials in the context of sexual orientation equality and the right to vote, the paper demonstrates the ways in which local variation, while possible, should be defended on the basis of explicitly argued local differences.
    ISBN: 9781849465915
  • C. Albertyn and S Fredman, 'Equality beyond dignity: Multi-dimensional equality and Justice Langa’s judgments' [2015] Acta Juridica 430
    The early jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court effectively placed dignity at the centre of the equality right. This elevation of a largely undefined, and abstract notion of dignity as human worth, and the apparent displacement of other purposes, especially that of remedying systemic disadvantage, generated significant debate about the definition and application of the right. In this article we argue for a multi-dimensional idea of equality which enables a fuller exploration of the complexity of the harms and injuries that underlie equality claims, and greater elucidation of the multiple principles and purposes of equality. In particular, we argue that substantive equality should be understood in terms of a four dimensional framework, which aims at addressing stigma, stereotyping, prejudice and violence; redressing socio-economic disadvantage; facilitating participation; and valuing and accommodating difference through structural change. We suggest that this approach enables a better exploration of the different principles that underlie equality and, crucially, an open discussion of complementarities and tensions between them. We explore the benefits of this multi-dimensional approach through an evaluation of three equality cases in which Justice Langa delivered the leading judgment: City Council of Pretoria v Walker, Bhe v Magistrate Khayalitsha and Pillay v MEC for Education, Kwazulu-Natal. We engage Justice Langa’s philosophy on equality as it emerges from these judgments, and evaluate the extent to which we can develop from this a more fully-fledged understanding of equality and its underlying values in the South African Constitution.
    ISBN: 978 148510 877 1
  • S Fredman, 'Equality Law: Labour Law or Autonomous Field' in A. Bogg; C. Costello; A. Davies; J. Prassl (ed), (Bloomsbury 2015)
    How has the right to equality in the UK been shaped by its roots in labour law, and, conversely, in what ways has the newly acquired human rights regime influenced labour law? A close analysis of some of the major equality cases in the highest courts in the UK and in the ECtHR since 2010 reveals two main arenas of contestation. The first concerns the rights-holder, and the corresponding duty-bearer. Labour law’s preoccupation with the employment relationship is challenged by the basic premise of human rights, namely that human rights inhere in everyone, simply by virtue of their humanity. On the other hand, the human rights regime generally assumes that it is only the state that is bound, leaving the obligations of the private employer in limbo. Yet it is into the interstices of all these settled relationships that the most vulnerable fall, and it is here that the right to equality should have the most traction. The second major cause of friction concerns the role of justification. Whereas under Article 14, the proportionality analysis is integrated into the definition of discrimination, the anti-discrimination statutes have built up a rigid divide between discrimination that can be justified and discrimination that cannot. This divide is under increasing pressure, particularly with the introduction of additional protected characteristics such as religion, age and disability.
    ISBN: 9781849466219
  • S Fredman, 'Foreign fads or fashions: the role of comparativism in human rights law' (2015) 64 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 631
    DOI: 10.1017/S0020589315000275
    Although there is a broadly similar core of human rights law and courts in different jurisdictions face strikingly similar questions, the use of comparative law in the human rights context remains controversial. Reference to foreign human rights materials is regarded as undemocratic, selective and misleading. Rather than searching for a single ‘right answer’, or expecting convergence, this article addresses these challenges from a deliberative perspective. A deliberative approach requires decisions to be taken on the basis of reasons which are thorough and persuasive. Even where outcomes diverge, there need to be good reasons, whether textual, institutional, or cultural. Comparative materials constitute an important contribution to this process. Part I critically assesses various alternative potential functions of comparative law. Part II develops the deliberative model while Part III addresses the main critiques of comparative law. Part IV tests the deliberative approach against a selection of cases dealing with two particularly challenging issues confronted by courts in different jurisdictions, namely the use of substantive principles such as dignity, and the application of justification or limitation clauses in the context of prisoners' right to vote. Case law is drawn from countries which already cite each other and which have broadly similar institutional frameworks: the USA, Canada, South Africa, India, Australia, the UK, New Zealand and the European Court of Human Rights to the extent that it too considers comparative law.
    ISBN: 0020-5893
  • S Fredman, 'From Dialogue to Deliberation: Human Rights Adjudication and Prisoners’ Rights to Vote' in M. Hunt; H. Hooper; P Yowell. (ed), Parliaments and Human Rights (Bloomsbury 2015)
    The chapter begins by evaluating dialogic theories of human rights adjudication. It then sets out a deliberative alternative and sketches its application in a human rights context. I call this a ‘bounded deliberative’ approach. The third section applies these principles to prisoners’ voting rights cases, comparing the approach of the South African Constitutional Court with that of the European Court of Human Rights.
    ISBN: 9781849465618
  • S Fredman and B. Goldblatt, 'Gender Equality and Human Rights: Background Paper for UN Women's Progress of the World's Women Report (2015)' (2015) 4 UN Women Discussion Paper Series 1
    Prepared as a background paper to UN Women's Flagship Report, Progress of the World's Women (2015), this paper examines the elaboration of the right to equality by the various actors within the treaty system who are tasked with elaborating on the meaning of human rights in international law. This paper evaluates these elaborations against a conception of equality that is substantive. The achievement of substantive equality is understood here as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The paper shows that, although not articulated in this way, these dimensions are clearly visible in the application by the various interpretive bodies of the principles of equality to the enjoyment of treaty rights. At the same time, it shows that there are important ways in which these bodies could go further, both in articulating the goals of substantive equality and in applying them when assessing compliance by States with international obligations of equality.
    ISBN: 978-1-63214- 024-1
  • S Fredman, 'Addressing Disparate Impact: Indirect Discrimination and the Public Sector Equality Duty ' (2014) 43 Industrial law Journal 349
    DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dwu016
    This commentary draws out the implications of recent cases on indirect discrimination and its relationship to the Public Sector Equality Duty. It argues that both indirect discrimination and the public sector equality duty include a duty to take pre-emptive action once a pattern of disparate impact has been made out. Drawing on dicta in recent cases, and comparing them with recent US jurisprudence, it argues that courts have sown the seeds of such a duty but this has not been appropriately recognised in the remedy.
    ISBN: 0305-9332
  • S Fredman, 'Engendering Social Welfare Rights' in Beth Goldblatt and Lucie Lamarche (eds), Women's Rights to Social Security and Social Protection (Hart Publishing 2014)
    While social welfare rights have traditionally been based on a male breadwinner model, more recent measures have seen women as the main vehicle for poverty alleviation and therefore the subject of social welfare rights. This chapter aims to create a framework of substantive gender equality which can be used specifically to engender social welfare rights, using Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes as an example of how this might work. A truly gendered perspective means that a welfare programme should address all four dimensions of a four dimensional framework of substantive equality. It must focus on alleviating gender-based disadvantage as well as poverty per se. It must address the specifically gendered stigmatic and prejudicial consequences for women. It must ensure the voices of the women are clearly heard and taken into account. Finally, it must ultimately address the structural causes of inequality rather than either requiring women to conform to the male norm, or cementing gender-based stereotypes of caring roles. At the same time, a gender perspective should not obscure the reality of poverty for both men and women. The answer is not to shift responsibility to women, but to universalise the burden through state provision of services. Real substantive equality is most likely to be achieved, not through making women bear the burden of breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty, but through universal, free access to good quality state schools, health clinics and other essential services.
    ISBN: 9781849466929
  • S Fredman, 'Home from Home: Migrant Domestic Workers and the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers ' in C Costello and M Freedland (eds), Migrants at Work: Immigration and Vulnerability in Labour Law (OUP 2014)
    Domestic workers’ situation in the heart of the employing family defies the public–private divide which labour law regulation has taken as one of its major premises. Live-in domestic workers have little autonomy or privacy, little control over their hours of work, and little protection against verbal, sexual, and physical abuse and other forms of exploitation. Trade union organization is highly challenging. The need to reconfigure the public–private divide arises not just because domestic work takes place within the family. It is also because domestic workers have played an essential role in facilitating the entry into paid work of many other women worldwide. Indeed, it is arguable that the main reason for the mass migration of women from developing to developed countries has been a high demand for domestic workers to assist with childcare, housework, and care of the elderly. However, the fact that employers of domestic workers are often vulnerable elderly people or women working in low-paid and precarious work themselves does not necessarily protect domestic workers: indeed, despite or because of their own precarious position, such employers are also frequently the source of exploitation or abuse. The framing of legislation in relation to domestic workers must therefore address this complex layering of discrimination issues. It is against this backdrop that the ILO finally, after much campaigning, adopted in 2011 its Convention No 198 concerning decent work for domestic workers. The aim of this chapter is to critically assess the provisions of the Convention and to compare it to other sources of regulation of domestic work, particularly those in South Africa and Brazil.
  • S Fredman, 'Reversing roles: bringing men into the frame' (2014) 10 International Journal of Law in Context 442
    DOI: 10.1017/S1744552314000214
    The attempt to secure maternity rights has been a major focus of decades of campaigning for women’s equality. However, it is of concern that maternity rights might reinforce women’s responsibility for childcare. This paper considers how we bring men back into the frame, through a critical assessment of the contrasting approaches in Europe and the US to claims by fathers for parenting rights. It is argued that the goal of equal participation of women in the workplace needs to be matched by equal participation of men in the home. This is only possible if the conception of equality is shaped by a conscious and explicit commitment to the social value of parenthood. Substantive equality can only be genuinely furthered if pregnancy and parenthood are appropriately distinguished. Whereas pregnancy is unique and should be treated as such, a true application of substantive equality requires a ‘levelling up’ option, extending women’s parenting rights to fathers.
  • S Fredman, 'From Dialogue to Deliberation: Human Rights Adjudication and Prisoners’ Rights to Vote' [2013] Public Law 292
    The interpretation of human rights inevitably requires value judgements. But if the power of interpretation and limitation of human rights is left to elected legislators on the basis of majority voting, perpetual minorities may be perpetually subordinated. But leaving judges to make the final decision flies in the face of the basic principle that all fundamental decisions in society should be taken by the people themselves. Prisoners’ voting rights throw the dilemma into particularly sharp relief. Should an elected legislature have the final say on removing the fundamental right to vote from a section of the population, particularly one which is deeply unpopular and which politicians have no natural interest in defending? The most promising way out of this dilemma is to move away from a polarisation between courts and legislatures, and instead regard both as contributing to a democratic resolution of human rights disputes. An increasingly influential stream of thought characterises the relationship as one of dialogue. Rather than courts having the final say, judicial decisions provoke a response from the legislature. In this paper, I aim to go beyond a dialogic model and propose one based on deliberative democracy. Drawing on the distinction between interest bargaining and value-based or deliberative decisions, I argue that human rights can only be properly addressed within a democracy through deliberative means. In other words, the power of the principle should constitute the reason for adopting it, rather than the power of those whose interests it serves. Otherwise, those without political power risk perpetual subordination, undermining the raison d’être of human rights protection. It is here that the courts are in a position to make a unique contribution to the democratic resolution of human rights issues. I argue that courts should ensure that human rights decisions are indeed taken deliberatively within the constraints set by the human rights themselves. I call this a ‘bounded deliberative’ approach. The final section applies these principles to prisoners’ voting rights cases in South Africa and the UK.
    ISBN: 0033-3565
  • S Fredman, Anti-discrimination laws and work in the developing world: A thematic overview (Background Paper for the World Development Report 2013 2013)
    This is a background paper for the World Development Report 2013. It aims to provide a literature review of legal and other instruments aimed at addressing labour market discrimination in developing countries,. The analysis takes place in the context of the understanding of jobs as providing the hinge connecting the three identified transformations at the centre of economic development: living standards, productivity gains and social cohesion. As Juan Somavia, ILO Director -General stated in June 2001: „Every day we are reminded that, for everybody, work is a defining feature of human existence. It is the means of sustaining life and of meeting basic needs. But it is also an activity through which individuals affirm their own identity, both to themselves and to those around them. It is crucial to individual choice, to the welfare of families and to the stability of societies.‟ Yet many people are unable to access decent work because of their gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, age or poverty. Disadvantage in the labour market is disproportionately concentrated among women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, older or younger people and poor people. The report deals with a brief discussion of de jure equality; anti-discrimination laws; the informal sector; and implementation (including affirmative action) in a range of countries: among low income countries, the briefing note considers Kenya, Bangladesh and Nepal; among lower middle income countries, it examines India, the Philippines and Zambia; and among upper middle income countries, it examines South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, Jamaica and the Czech Republic. The countries were chosen to reflect a spread of different cultural, regional, historical and developmental factors, as well as the availability of literature in English. .
  • S Fredman, 'Breaking the mould: equality as a proactive duty ' in Nicola Countouris and Mark Freedland (eds), Resocialising Europe in a Time of Crisis (2013)
    ISBN: 13: 97811070417
  • S Fredman, 'CEDAW in the UK' in A Hellum and H Sinding Aasen (eds), Women's Human Rights: CEDAW in International, Regional and National Law (Studies on Human Rights Conventions Cambridge University Press 2013)
    ISBN: 9781107034624
  • S Fredman, 'Engendering socio-economic rights' in A Hellum and H Sinding Aasen (eds), Women's Human Rights: CEDAW in International, Regional and National Law (Studies on Human Rights Conventions Cambridge University Press 2013)
    ISBN: 9781107034624
  • S Fredman and J. Fudge, 'The Legal Construction of Personal Work Relations and Gender' (2013) 7 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 112
    The rigid divide between a standard employment contract and other work relations has always presented particular difficulties for women. There is a fundamental mismatch between the binary divide that is inscribed in law and many women’s experience, in which the boundaries between paid and unpaid work, between public and private, and between the labor market and social security are permeable and shifting. The effects of this mismatch are particularly felt among those women who predominate among “non-standard” workers, who find themselves characterized as “independent” or “quasi-independent” despite the reality of their lack of real autonomy or self-sufficiency in the market. But this mismatch also has serious effects for those women at any one time employed under an employment contract because of the incentives created by the law for employers to cut costs by re-characterizing their relationship as falling on the far side of the binary divide. Freedland and Kountouris’s extraordinarily perceptive book, The Legal Construction of Personal Work Relations, not only allows us to escape from this rigid legal typology, it sheds light on the complex interactions between the many different personal work relations and labor market statuses that women engage in throughout their lives, pointing the way to a system of legal entitlements which better reflects these realities. In this review, we focus on the analytical and normative contributions made by The Legal Construction of Personal Work Relations2 in understanding and addressing how the current process of legal categorization disadvantages women workers. In the first part, we outline the critical analytical and conceptual advances that Freedland and Kountouris make in the legal categorization of work relations. In the second part, we draw out the implications of their analysis in three areas that are shaped by the relationship between women’s paid and unpaid work: precarious work; equal pay and job segregation; and maternity and parental rights.
  • S Fredman and J. Fudge, 'The Legal Construction of Personal Work Relations and Gender ' (2013) 7 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies (2013) 112
    DOI: 10.1093/jrls/jlt019
    The rigid divide between a standard employment contract and other work relations has always presented particular difficulties for women. There is a fundamental mismatch between the binary divide that is inscribed in law and many women’s experience, in which the boundaries between paid and unpaid work, between public and private, and between the labor market and socialsecurity are permeable and shifting. Freedland and Kountouris’s extraordinarily perceptive book, The Legal Construction of PersonalWork Relations, not only allows us to escape from this rigid legal typology, it sheds light on the complex interactions between the many different personal work relations and labour market statuses that women engage in throughout their lives, pointing the way to a system of legal entitlements which better reflects these realities.
    ISBN: 2219-7117
  • S Fredman, 'Breaking the Mold: Equality as a Proactive Duty ' (2012) 60 American Journal of Comparative Law 263
    Despite increasingly sophisticated antidiscrimination laws, dis- crimination and inequality have proved remarkably resilient. This prompts questions about the limits of law’s ability to achieve social change. One way forward is to fashion new legal tools, which impose duties to promote or achieve equality, rather than focusing on individual rights against specific perpetrators. In the past decade in Britain, such fourth generation equality laws have been developed in a distinctive format, requiring the decision-maker to “have due regard” to equality, rather than taking action to achieve such objectives. Thisstandard has triggered a spate of judicial review cases, particularly in response to austerity measures imposing deep budgetary cuts on disadvantaged groups. This Paper’s aims are two-fold. The first is to examine the judicial approach to the due regard standard in the light of recent regulatory theory. Do courts consider the due regard standard as a signal for deference, or can it be understood as an example of “reflexive law,” facilitating deliberative decision-making rather than imposing external standards likely to meet with resistance from the regulated body? The Paper concludes that courts have struggled to deal with the regulatory challenges presented by the “due regard” standard, wavering between appropriate and inappropriate intervention. The second aim is an analysis of whether a deliberative standard is appropriate in the equality context. The record of judicial review cases demonstrates that such a standard risks legitimating or simply reconfiguring existing inequalities.
    ISBN: 0002-919x
  • S Fredman, A Comparative Study of Anti-Discrimination and Equality Laws of the US, Canada, South Africa and India (Office for Official Publications of the European Communities 2012)
    DOI: 10.2838/82208
    The aim of this study is to compare and contrast anti-discrimination and equality laws in the US, Canada, South Africa and India, with a view to inform future development of EU anti-discrimination laws. Comparative law is of great value, particularly in the equality field, where there is increasing cross-pollination across different jurisdictions. At the same time, comparative law carries with it important challenges, as the harmonising project of the EU has itself demonstrated. The four jurisdictions to be examined here share English as a common language as well as, in varying degrees, a common law heritage. However, there are significant differences in historical, socio-economic and political contexts as well as in legal institutions. The challenge is therefore to illuminate universalisableconceptions while at the same time recognising context specificity.
    ISBN: ISBN 978-92-79-23769
  • S Fredman, Discrimination Law (Clarendon Series (OUP , 2nd ed) 2011)
    Equality is an ideal to which we all aspire. Yet the more closely we examineit, the more its meaning shifts. This book examines the differing conceptions of equality in discrimination law, in the accessible yet challenging format of the Clarendon series. It uses a thematic approach to elucidate the major conceptual issues, while at the same time imparting a detailed understanding of the legal provisions, including the Equality Act 2010, human rights law, and EU law. Particularly illuminating is the comparative approach. By examining comparable law in the US, India, Canada, and South Africa, as well as the UK, the book exposes common problems and canvasses differing solutions.
    ISBN: 978-0-19-958443-7
  • S Fredman, 'The Potential and Limits of An Equal Rights Paradigm In Addressing Poverty ' (2011) 22 Stellenbosch Law Review
    Poverty is increasingly a human rights issue. The aim of this paper is to consider what role the right to equality can and should play in relation to poverty. It draws on the experience in Britain, Canada, the US and South Africa to develop several ways in which equality could function in relation to poverty. It concludes that while the right to equality can make a valuable contribution to apsects of pvoerty based on misrecognition and oscial exclusion, it has not yet been sufficiently developed to address distributive inequalities in its own right.
    ISBN: 1016-4359
  • S Fredman, 'The Public Sector Equality Duty' (2011) 40 Industrial Law Journal 405
    A key advance of the Equality Act 2010 is its introduction of a single equality duty. The new ‘public sector equality duty’ harmonises the earlier duties and extends its coverage to include other protected characteristics. In addition, the statutory aims have been deepened to reflect a substantive conception of equality. However, the core of the duty is unchanged. It is a duty to ‘have due regard’, not to take steps or to achieve equality. Is this an attempt to incorporate a deliberative, reflexive approach to achieving equality, recognising that a straightforward command and control approach might encounter unproductive resistance? Or does it reflect a fundamental ambivalence as to the importance of equality issues? Section 2 below examines the structure of the statutory provisions. Section 3 asks whether the statutory provision is an example of reflexive law. Particular attention is paid to the spate of judicial review cases relying on the equality duty to challenge a range of budget cuts. It is argued that courts have struggled to deal with the regulatory challenges presented by the equality duties. Nor is it clear that a reflexive approach is appropriate to achieve substantive equality.
    ISBN: 1464-366
  • S Fredman, 'New Horizons: Incorporating Socio-Economic Rights in a British Bill of Rights ' [2010] Public Law 297
    ISBN: 0033-3565
  • S Fredman, 'Positive Duties and Socio-economic Disadvantage: Bringing Disadvantage onto the Equality Agenda ' (2010) European Human Rights Law Review 290
  • S Fredman, 'Engendering Socio-economic rights ' (2009) 25 South African Journal of Human Rights 410
    ISBN: 02587203
  • S Fredman, Making Equality Effective: The Role of Proactive Measures ( 2009)
  • S Fredman and M. Wesson, 'Social, Economic and Cultural Rights' in David Feldman (ed), English Public Law (2009)
  • S Fredman, 'The Shape of Things to Come: Substantive Equality under the Spotlight ' in O. Dupper and C Garbers (eds), Equality in the Workplace: Reflections from South Africa and Beyond (Juta 2009)
  • S Fredman, 'Reforming equal pay laws' (2008) 37 Industrial Law Journal 193
    Despite 33 years of equal pay legislation, the gender pay gap remains stubbornly high. Multiple equal pay claims in the public sector have forcefully exposed the weaknesses, both of the Equal Pay Act and of the complaints-led model of enforcement on which it is based. This article argues that the equal pay apparatus is in need of radical reform. Single Equality legislation, due to be introduced in the autumn, is the ideal forum to do so. Substantively, it is essential to move beyond the current narrow range of comparison, the limited definition of equality and the lack of a collective dimension. So far as enforcement is concerned, the way forward lies in a positive duty to eliminate pay discrimination, which builds on and strengthens the current gender duty. Women's right to equal pay for equal work is often represented as an unreasonable demand on resources, carrying with it an unsustainable cost. In fact, it is a fundamental right recognised by major human rights instruments and the International Labour Organization (ILO). It is to be hoped that the Single Equality Bill will give equal pay reform the serious attention so urgently needed.
    ISBN: 0305-9332
  • S Fredman, Human Rights Transformed: Positive Rights and Positive Duties (Oxford University Press 2008)
    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199272761.001.0001
    Human Rights have traditionally been understood as protecting individual freedom against intrusion by the State. This book argues that human rights are based on a far richer view of freedom, going beyond absence of coercion and focussing on the ability to exercise such freedom. This view means that, as well as restraining the State, human rights require the State to act positively to remove barriers and facilitate the exercise of freedom. But because positive duties have for so long been regarded as a question of policy or aspiration, little sustained attention has been given to their role in actualising human rights. The book moves beyond the artificial boundary between socio-economic and civil and political rights and instead focuses on the positive duties to which all human rights give rise. It draws on political theory and social policy to illuminate important legal issues, and uses comparative material from India, South Africa, Canada, the US, the ECHR and the UK.
    ISBN: 9780199272761
  • S Fredman, 'Positive Rights and Duties: Addressing Intersectionality' in D. Schiek, V Chege (ed), European Union Non-Discrimination Law: Comparative Perspectives on Multidimensional Equality Law (Routledge-Cavendish 2008)
    ISBN: 978-0-415-45722-4
  • S Fredman, 'Recognition or Redistribution: Reconciling Inequalities' (2007) 23 South African Journal of Human Rights 214
    This paper examines the traditional dichotomy between measures addressing socio-economic inequalities and those aimed at inequality based on status, such as race, gender, disability or sexual orientation. Using the conceptual framework of recognition and redistribution developed by Nancy Fraser and others, I argue that it is no longer tenable to keep the two spheres separate. Constructing a concept of socio-economic equality without considering the implications for status-based inequality can be damaging and ineffective. Conversely, status-based measures are limited by their inability to mobilise the redistributive measures necessary to make real equality of opportunity and genuine choice possible. The paper begins by examining the interaction between socio-economic and status-based equality. I then sketch out a multi-dimensional notion of substantive equality which attempts to create a synthesis between the aims of both spheres. In the final part, I make some very tentative suggestions as to how the interpenetration can be more meaningfully captured in legal frameworks.
  • S Fredman, 'The Positive Right to Security' in B J Goold and L Lazarus (eds), Security and Human Rights (Hart 2007)
    This chapter examines the notion of a positive right to security. I argue that the right arises from a deeper understanding of human freedom, one which does not simply prevent interference in free choice but instead seeks actively to remove constraints on choice. The right to security is a right not just to non-interference but to state action, that aims to protect the individual from risks to the person, whether caused by fellow citizens, poverty or the state itself.
    ISBN: 13:978-1-84113-608-0
  • S Fredman, 'From Deference to Democracy: the Role of Equality under the Human Rights Act 1998' (2006) 122(Jan) Law Quarterly Review 53
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • S Fredman, 'Human Rights Transformed: Positive Duties and Positive Rights' [2006] 2006(Autumn) Public Law 498
    ISBN: 0033-3565
  • S Fredman, 'Precarious Norms for Precarious Workers' in J Fudge and R Owens (eds), Precarious Work, Women and the New Economy (Hart Publishing 2006)
    The chapter assesses the legal position of precarious workers from a feminist perspective and in the light of the development of flexible working and New Labour and 'Third Way' policies
    ISBN: 978-1-84113-616-6
  • S Fredman, 'Changing the Norm: Positive Duties in Equal Treatment Legislation' (2005) 12 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 369
    This paper assesses the emergence of a new proactive model to achieve gender equality, and compares it with the more established complaints led model based on individual rights. While transcending many of the weaknesses of the individual complaints model, the proactive model ains ambiguous in many crucial respects, particularly as to its objectives, its use of participation, and how compliance is to be achieved. The paper aims to shed more light on these key aspects by drawing on the experiences of such models in Canada, Northern Ireland,Britain, and the EU itself. This demonstrates that the location of proactive strategies on the borderline between law and politics makes them highly dependent on political will. The key challenge is therefore to ensure that proactive strategies are based on a ecognition that equality is a fundamental right, not a discretion, without reverting to individualised complaints mechanisms with all their inbuilt weaknesses. I conclude by considering how wemight achieve a fundamental and non-derogable core of rights within a proactive model
    ISBN: 1023-263X
  • S Fredman, 'Providing Equality: Substantive Equality and the Positive Duty to Provide' (2005) 21 South African Journal on Human Rights 163
    Substantive equality and positive duties to redress disadvantage in society, a critical comparison of South African, Canadian and ECHR approaches to the relationship between substantive equality and socio-economic rights
    ISBN: 0258-7203
  • S Fredman, '‘Disability Equality: A Challenge to the Existing Anti-Discrimination Paradigm’' in A Lawson and C Gooding (eds), Disability Rights in Europe: From Theory to Practice (Hart 2005)
    This chapter assesses existing discrimination paradigms and their applicability to disability discrimination.It argues that a possible way forward lies in a duty to promote equality based on social rights.
    ISBN: 1-84113-486-4
  • S Fredman, 'Social, Economic and Cultural Rights' in D Feldman (ed), English Public Law (Oxford University Press 2004)
    This chapter examines the nature of socio-economic rights and challenges the contrast with civil and political rights. It argues that the focus should be on differences in the nature of the duty, and particularly the differences between duties to refrain from infringing on a right, duties to protect against infringement by others, and duties to take active measures to facilitate or promote the exercise of teh right. It examines sources of socio-economic rights, and assesses the contribution of domestic courts to the development of such rights.
    ISBN: 0-19-876551-7
  • S Fredman, 'The Ideology of New Labour Law' in C Barnard, S Deakin and G Morris (eds), The Future of Labour Law: Liber Amicorum Sir Bob Hepple (Hart 2004)
    A critical analysis of third way ideology in the field of labour law.
  • S Fredman, 'Women at Work: The Broken Promise of Flexicurity' (2004) 33 Industrial Law Journal 299
    DOI: 10.1093/ilj/33.4.299
    This article argues that it is no accident that the flexible workforce is largely made up of women in precarious jobs. The change in women's role, as both breadwinners and home-makers, has not been matched by changes in the legal structure of employyment law, and particularly the contract, with its assumption of bilateral, mutual, transactional exchange. Rights should be afforded to all who participate in the paid workshop, however marginally.
    ISBN: 0305 9332
  • S Fredman and Sarah Spencer (eds), Age as an Equality Issue (Hart 2003 2003)
    A series of chapters by experts from a wide range of disciplines on age discrimination, considering the central aims of a policy on age equality, as part of the process of implementing EU requirements for age discrimination legislation and moving beyond it.
    ISBN: 1-84113-405-8
  • S Fredman, 'Discrimination' in P Cane and M Tushnet (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies (OUP 2003)
    ISBN: 0-19-924816-8
  • S Fredman, 'The Age of Equality' in S Fredman and S Spencer (eds), Age as an Equality Issue (Hart 2003)
    A critical examination of the meaning of age discrimination and an exploration of possible legislative frameworks to implement age discrimination legislation.
    ISBN: 1-84113-405-8
  • S Fredman, 'The Future of Equality in Great Britain' (2002) No. 5 Equal Opportunities Commission Working Paper Series 1
    This paper was commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission as an independent contribution to the debate around the single equality body. Its focus is on the vision and objectives such a body might pursue, and in particular, on the principles of equality informing policy decisions.
    ISBN: 1 84206 038 4
  • S Fredman (ed), Discrimination and Human Rights: The Case of Racism (OUP 2001)
    Book of eight essays with introduction and one chapter by the editor. Chapters deal with the concept of equality, the rights of minority cultures, the internet, international law, EU law and remedial structures
    ISBN: 0-19924603-3
  • S Fredman, 'Sceptism under Scrutiny: Labour Law and Human Rights' in T Campbell, K D Ewing and A Tomkins (eds), Sceptical Essays in Human Rights (OUP 2001)
    An examination of sceptical approaches to human rights, in order to move through sceptism towards a possible reconstruction of human rights in a social democratic context
    ISBN: 0-19-923669-6/0-19-924668-8
  • S Fredman, 'Equality Law: Labour Law or an Autonomous Field' in A. Bogg (ed), The Autonomy of Labour Law (2000)
  • S Fredman, 'From Dialogue to Deliberation: Human Rights Adjudication and Prisoners’ Rights to Vote' in M. Hunt (ed), Parliaments and Human Rights (2000)

News articles for Sandra Fredman FBA, QC (hon)

RightsUp cover art featuring Nathan Law
16 Oct 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Episode: The Voice of Hong Kong in Exile (with Nathan Law)


25 Sep 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Episode: The Transformative Possibilities of a Constitution (with Joel Modiri and Gautam Bhatia)


11 Sep 2020

*NEW* OxHRH Podcast Available: The Internet, Climate Change, and Human Rights (with Michael Oghia)


Sara Davis
24 Jul 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - The Politics of Global Health Data (with Sara Davis)


26 Jun 2020

New OxHRH podcast episode - A Reason for Hope: The Pursuit of Restorative Justice in Colombia (with Judge Julieta Lemaitre)


Fair work logo
30 Mar 2020

Second round of Fairwork’s yearly platform ratings in South Africa launched.

06 Mar 2020

OxHRH Celebrates International Women's Day 2020: Spotlighting the Work of OxHRH Women

20 Dec 2019

New OxHRH Podcast: Comparative Human Rights Law Book Launch - Sandy Fredman in Conversation with Colm O'Cinneide


16 Dec 2019

New OxHRH podcast: Comparative Human Rights Law Book Launch - Sandy Fredman in Conversation with Edwin Cameron


16 Dec 2019

New OxHRH Podcast: Comparative Human Rights Law Book Launch - Sandy Fredman in Conversation with Justice S. Muralidhar


12 Aug 2019

Watch - The Abidjan Principles on the Right to Education: The Drafters’ Perspective

05 Aug 2019

Learning Lessons from Litigators: Realising the Right to Education Through Public Interest Lawyering

20 Jun 2019

Oxford Human Rights Hub Graduate workshop

21 May 2019

Paper co-authored by Sandy Fredman shortlisted for the best paper award at the Weizenbaum Institute's annual conference

May 2019 - Harassment at work event OxHRH - group photo
21 May 2019

Celebrating 100 years of women in the legal profession - Sexual Harassment at Work

06 Feb 2019

Sandy Fredman among experts who have drafted the 'Abidjan Principles on the Right to Education'

30 Jan 2019

Sandy Fredman leads new research project to develop a human rights approach to sexual and reproductive health

comparative human rights law book cover
11 Jan 2019

'Comparative Human Rights Law' by Sandra Fredman

13 Jun 2018

Oxford Human Rights Hub awarded grant by Sigrid Rausing Trust

19 Mar 2018

Call for Papers: Challenging Fundamentalisms? Ideology, Public Policy, Law and Gender Equality


Research projects