CJEU Case C-507/18 | NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI – Rete Lenford

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Author (Corporate)
Series Details C-507/18
Publication Date 2018-2020
Content Type


Judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerning freedom of expression, equal treatment in employment, recruitment and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Further information:

A lawyer stated in an interview given during a radio programme, that he would not wish to recruit homosexual persons to his firm nor to use the service of such persons in his firm. An association of lawyers that defends LGBTI rights took the view that the person had made remarks constituting discrimination on the ground of the sexual orientation of workers, and consequently brought proceedings against him for damages. The action was successful at first instance and later upheld on appeal. The lawyer appealed before Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation, which in August 2018 sought a preliminary ruling from the CJEU on, among other elements, the interpretation of the concept of conditions for access to employment... an to occupation, within the meaning of Directive 2000/78/EC - the so-called Equal Treatment at Work Directive.

The Court recalled that such concept must be given an autonomous and uniform interpretation and cannot be interpreted restrictively, and so interpreted it by reference to a previous judgment. On 23 April 2020, it concluded that homophobic statements constitute discrimination in employment and occupation when they are made by a person who has or may be perceived as having a decisive influence on an employer's recruitment policy. In such case, national law may provide that an association has the right to bring legal proceedings in order to claim damages even if no injured party can be identified.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EU Law Live: Op-Ed, 27/04/2020: “In a tight spot, the Court of Justice delivers a lopsided judgment: NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI — Rete Lenford” https://eulawlive.com/op-ed-in-a-tight-spot-the-court-of-justice-delivers-a-lopsided-judgment-nh-v-associazione-avvocatura-per-i-diritti-lgbti-rete-lenford-by-jeffrey-miller/
EMW: Latest, 28/04/2020: Could homophobic statements made during a radio interview fall foul of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive? https://www.emwllp.com/latest/equal-treatment-framework-directive/
EFHR: News, 11/05/2020: CJEU rules on homophobic statements made by employers http://en.efhr.eu/2020/05/11/cjeu-rules-on-homophobic-statements-made-by-employers/
Arthur Cox: Article, 23/06/2020: Words have wings and an employee’s discriminatory views may also have claws: Homophobic remarks and the Equal Treatment Directive https://www.arthurcox.com/knowledge/words-have-wings-and-an-employees-discriminatory-views-may-also-have-claws-homophobic-remarks-and-the-equal-treatment-directive/
EU Law Analysis, 26/07/2020: No more fluttering/fleeting line between discrimination in employment and the right to freedom of expression: the CJEU judgment in NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI — Rete Lenford http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2020/07/no-more-flutteringfleeting-line-between.html

CJEU CURIA: Case C-507/18 | NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI – Rete Lenford http://curia.europa.eu/juris/documents.jsf?num=C-507/18
CJEU: Press Release (No 48/20), 23/04/2020: Judgment in Case C-507/18 NH v Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI – Rete Lenford https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2020-04/cp200048en.pdf

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