General equal Treatment Law: the Too long way to justice

For more than ten years, there has been a law against racist discrimination. But hardly anyone who is discriminated against is suing the perpetrator. Why?

General equal Treatment Law: the Too long way to justice
  • Page 1 — too long way to justice
  • Page 2 — Too short time limits
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    Racism ranks our thinking and living toger. With focus on "everyday racism" we want to find out why this is what this means for society and how it could be changed. In guest contribution, lawyer Maria Wallace explains why she considers a right of association for a sensible solution.

    A family with a foreign-sounding name does not receive an appointment for an apartment; A black man should pay an annual fee in advance in gym instead of monthly transfer; A student with Turkish roots often does not come into clubs; All tenants with a migrant background receive a rise in rent; A sign at a shop door prohibits asylum seekers from nearby accommodation. All se experiences are white people rar strange, but everyday for many ors.

    Maria Wallace

    is a professor at Fachhochschule Dortmund and author of textbook "cases on general equal Treatment Law".

    Such forms of racism have been banned by law for more than ten years. The General Equal Treatment Act is intended to ensure fairness. It does not directly oppose racist thinking, but it prohibits discriminatory acts according to racist patterns. It is not just a question of motives and thoughts, but of detrimental actions and ir consequences, for example in labour or housing market. So right is available. There are claims for damages and compensation as well as for future omission of discrimination. Neverless, complaints of racism are particularly rare compared to people with experience of discrimination due to age or disability.

    The discrimination law is based on idea of enforcement by those affected. If you act legally against discrimination and sue for compensation, discrimination will become expensive and disappear from market – as far as ory. In practice, numerous hurdles make it difficult for affected person to complain. Four hurdles are already built into law: isolated, short deadlines, difficult evidence situation and low compensation sums.

    1. Scattering

    Those affected by discrimination are, first and foremost, problem alone – also legally speaking. You must make your claim. Discrimination associations could support you, accompany you in court and represent you as a lawyer. The associations cannot, however, take action against a discriminated person or bring systematic disadvantages to court by a rental company in its own proceedings. The individual must have courage, time, money and power to go through a court case.

    Date Of Update: 21 June 2018, 12:02

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