This article first discusses key equality guarantees in law today. It then focuses on different understandings of the right to equality: as either a principle or an individually enforceable claim (the status); as an ‘empty idea’, a rationality test, or a ‘substantive’ right (the content); as a right of individuals or for groups (who bears the right?). It next examines equality as categorically distinctly structured as opposed to or as similar to other liberty interests (the test); as a general entitlement or as a specific guarantee to address particular inequalities, either separate or intersecting (the inequalities); and as general or specific regarding the application in distinct areas of life (the reach). Finally, the article addresses the often crucial question of whether equality as a fundamental right is directed exclusively against the state, or whether it may also have binding effects on other actors.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Baer, Susanne. "Equality." In The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law, edited by M. Rosenfeld and A. Sajó, 982-1001. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.