"Equality"

Michigan Law Authors
Areas of Interest
Publish Date
2012
Publication
The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law
Publication Type
Book Chapter
Abstract

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.

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