As a recent development, EU law requires that Member States must designate specialized bodies for the promotion of equal treatment, and that these bodies must be given power to provide assistance to victims of discrimination. In response, the Member States have chosen different models for their equality bodies; however, the majority of the equality bodies have been given competence to hear and investigate complaints. By comparing the Scandinavian equality bodies, the author calls attention to how establishing equality bodies with competence to hear and investigate complaints raises certain legal issues which may diminish the ability of these bodies to provide assistance to victims of discrimination effectively. The author demonstrates how the majority of these issues can be overcome, with the result that equality bodies with competence to hear and investigate complaints are fully effective in meeting both the letter and the spirit of the EU law requirement.
Preface 1. Introduction 2. Method and Scope 3. The Scandinavian Equality Bodies 4. Provision of Assistance and Impartial Complaints Handling 5. Investigation of Complaints 6. Use of the EU Rules on Burden of Proof 7. Participation in Court Proceedings 8. Conclusions 9. Bibliography Literature Annex A: Table of Scandinavian legislation Annex B: Table of the Scandinavian Equality Bodies Annex C: The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission