Street art Florence, Italy 2017 “Protect me” and exterior of the CJEU (H. Eklund/PDM).


I. EU Law and Access to Justice


Beginning in 2016 the project set out to explore the impact of procedural provisions inserted in EU fundamental rights legislation (in particular non-discrimination law) that are aimed at facilitating access to court in support or on behalf of victims. Investigating specifically the interplay between: 1. ‘collective actors’ understood in the broad sense to cover civil society organisations and independent organisations such as equality bodies intended to represent individuals; 2. the actual litigation on EU fundamental rights law before domestic courts as it unfolds before the CJEU by way of preliminary references; and 3. the rules on access to domestic courts (shaped, to some extent, by EU legislation) as providing legal opportunity structures for preliminary references to the CJEU.

This project was co-run with and funded by Maastricht University, Professor Elise Muir and Professor Bruno De Witte.

Read the outcome of this research here.


II. Equality Law in Europe: A New Generation CJEU Database


This project aims to first construct a database of, and then analyse, all CJEU discrimination cases decided between 1970 and 2018. This project is ongoing, please read more about the database here.


  • Oslo, September 2019

Hanna Eklund, member of the scientific committee, discussed some early findings from the database and possible further research strategies at the Nordic Law and Gender Conference organised by Anne Hellum, Vibeke Blaker Strand and Ingunn Ikdahl at the University of Oslo.

  • Florence, October 2020 

In order to discuss the first step of constructing the complete database the project organised the conference Equality Law in Europe: A New Generation – Using the CJEU Datasets, at the European University Institute in October 2019. The conference was convened by Professor Claire Kilpatrick and was intended to introduce and discuss the complete database of all CJEU discrimination cases, which the project’s members have built between 2017 and 2018. The conference brought together academics and practitioners to discuss in what ways the database can provide researchers and the general public with new tools to analyse recent developments in European equality law. On 10 October, the project team presented a tutorial on how to use the dataset most effectively for specific research projects. Participants discussed the strengths and limitations of the dataset as it is currently designed and held a discussion about the kinds of new information that would be most useful to include in future versions of the dataset. On 11 October, the conference continued with three panels that addressed different aspects of the preliminary reference procedure. The first, titled, Who Are the Litigants and What Do They Claim?, brought together three speakers who had used to the Equality Law in Europe dataset as a starting point to explore particular characteristics of claimants that bring preliminary references before the CJEU. The second panel, titled, Patterns of Preliminary References in Context, explored the judicial dialogue between the CJEU and specific Member States. The third panel, titled, Lawyering and the CJEU, examined the preliminary reference procedure with a focus on the kinds of lawyers who argue cases before the CJEU. Please have a look at the conference programme for more information on the participants.

  • Lund, January 2020

Professor Claire Kilpatrick (project director), together with Jeff Miller and Hanna Eklund (members of the scientific committee) presented the Equality Law in Europe: A New Generation research agenda at an event organised by the EU Law Discussion Group at Lund University.