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Denmark: Supreme Court judgment on age discrimination and unemployment benefit

Supreme Court judgment of January 19, 2015. Case 308/2012

Case: In December 2007, A was informed by his unemployment insurance fund that his membership would be terminated in April 2008 because of the fact that he turned 65 years and would be eligible for state pension. A was still working at that time and did not want to retire. One year later he resigned from his job and declared himself unemployed as well as available. He did not take the state pension and requested unemployment benefit instead. The unemployment insurance fund declined his request referring to Section 43 of the Act on Unemployment Insurance stating that a member of an unemployment insurance fund will automatically stop being a member at the age of 65 years.

Bulgaria: Equal access to employer-provided rented accommodation

National court decision: Decision No 15637 of 19.12.2014 in administrative case No 1925/2014 of the Supreme Administrative Court

Case: An army retiree younger than 65 years of age who had been renting a Ministry of Defence flat since 1987 complained to the equality body (EB) about secondary legislation adopted in 2010 by the Minister of Defence that introduced a minimum age of 65 as a condition for former army employees like himself to rent such accommodation. Apparently, regardless of the new legislation no measures were taken against the complainant. However, he requested that the EB order the ministry to repeal the impugned provisions. The EB ruled that the ministry was liable for indirect (sic) discrimination on grounds of age for having adopted the impugned legislation. The EB imposed a financial sanction on the ministry (BGN 1000 (EUR 500)), and an injunction for it to repeal the impugned provisions. That decision was confirmed on appeal by the first-instance court. The ministry appealed the decision of the first-instance court before the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC).

United Kingdom: Discrimination against travellers in planning matters

Decision of the High Court [2015] EWHC 44 (Admin)

Case: The Claimants, who were Romany Gypsies, challenged the policy of the Secretary of State by which first all and subsequently 75% of applications for “traveller pitches” on “Green Belt” land (upon which building is generally not permitted) were “called in” to the Secretary of State for his decision, rather than being determined by Planning Inspectors (as is the case for over 90% of all planning applications). The effect of the policy was, as the judge pointed out at §39, that “a traveller wanting to live on a pitch in the Green Belt, but not erect any buildings, could now expect that his or her case would be [determined by the Secretary of State], whereas a person proposing to build one or more dwellings would not. That was true even in cases where the application or permission would be temporary…”

Turkey: Discrimination against a LGBT individual

National court decision (42nd Civil Court of First Instance in Istanbul, decision no. 2014/230)

Case: An LGBT woman was denied entry to the women’s section of a Turkish bath in Istanbul during the opening hours although other female customers were granted entry. She brought a discrimination case against the owner of the bath under Article 122(1) of the Turkish Penal Code, which prohibits the denial, due to hatred based on language, race, colour, gender, disability, political thought, philosophical belief, differences of religion or denomination, of: a) the sale, transfer or rent of movable or immovable property in public use; b) provision of services to the public; c) employment; d) the carrying out of an ordinary economic activity.

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