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  • Writer's pictureCHR

Workshop on the (non-)application of the anti-discrimination law in Czech legal practice

The current discussion of the various draft amendments on "marriage for all" may remind you of similar situations we have already experienced in the Czech Republic - for example, in 2009 during the discussion of the anti-discrimination law. Back then, some MPs "argued" that no one would use the law in practice anyway - and, unfortunately, they were right.

"Discrimination" is practically not judged or sued in the Czech Republic today, everything is hidden behind general reasons such as "illegality". For these reasons, among others, the Centre organised a workshop on 5 May 2023 for the general public, which was attended by Zdeněk Kühn from the Supreme Administrative Court, Monika Hanych from the Office of the Government Commissioner for Representation before the ECHR, Martin Šmíd from the Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Kristina Koldinská from the Department of Labour and Social Security Law at the Charles University, and Helena Hofmannová, the head of the Centre.

The presentations were often very practical, based on the speakers' direct professional or even personal experience, as in the case of Dr. Hanych, who recently won a discrimination case against her own employer - the Ministry of Justice.

There was a consensus among those present that there is a need to identify the essence of why discrimination in the Czech environment is not being addressed on a general level, because without this, the situation of specific groups such as Roma, LGBTIQ+ or any others will hardly improve.

Thus, beyond the scope of their presentations, the speakers also discussed questions such as "Why are judges

and attorneys are afraid to use the word discrimination?", or "Are the reasons for the disadvantage of members of the LGBTIQ+ community only due to their specific status, or is it also due to the fact that we generally do not know how to treat minorities with respect?" and they agreed that the answers to these questions lie mainly in the lack of practical and theoretical experience of the courts and lawyers in this area.


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