Nordisk Tidsskrift for Menneskerettigheter Vol. 25 Nr. 2:2007:

English abstracts

Iceland, Falun Gong and China: A Legal Overview of the 2002 Events
By Herman Salton

Abstract: The decision of the Icelandic government, in June 2002, to ban foreign practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual movement during the official visit of the Chinese President caused considerable controversy, as did the compilation and distribution of a blacklist of people who were known or suspected to be Falun Gong members. This article deals with the legal implications of those events. After considering the official reasons for the ban and blacklist, it reviews the legal challenges directed against these measures and questions whether the actions of the Icelandic government are justifiable from an international human rights perspective. While European and international human rights law allow member states considerable discretion when interests of public order and national security are at stake, the piece comes to the conclusion that they also provide a number of limitations in order to circumvent abuses, particularly when the state intervention has the effect, like in Iceland, of directly discriminating against a specific spiritual group.
Key words: Iceland, Falun Gong, Religious Freedom, Discrimination, Blacklist, Protection of Sensitive Data on Religious Allegiance (or Privacy).

Om diskrimineringsvern i et menneskerettsperspektiv – med fokus på diskrimineringsgrunnlaget «nedsatt funksjonsevne»
Av Aslak Syse og Marianne Jenum Hotvedt

Abstract: A new Discrimination Act has been passed in Norway, prohibiting ethnic and religious discrimination, The Gender Equality Act has been amended, and The Working Environment Act now prohibits discrimination based on several grounds in the area of employment. A new Ombud and Tribunal are enforcing the legislation, and working proactively towards equality. Furthermore, a legislative Committee has proposed a new Discrimination and Accessibility Act, reflecting the shift in perspective in relation to people with disabilities; from a welfare approach to a human rights approach. Accordingly, the proposed statute ensures a level of protection against discrimination parallel to other grounds, and, in addition, includes specific duties to accommodate both on an individual level (reasonable accommodation) and in general (universal design). The process towards a broad and strong anti-discrimination legislation in Norway has not come to an end.
Key words: Discrimination, Accessibility, Disability, Universal Design

Age Discrimination in Europe: late bloomer or wall-flower?
By Helen Meenan

Abstract: Age discrimination arguably had a lower policy profile initially than the other anti-discrimination grounds now contained in the Article 13 EC Directives. However, European Union- (EU-) wide surveys have documented the existence of age discrimination in employment and in access to goods, facilities and services for some time. Age discrimination has since grown significantly in profile and relevance. However, analysis of the implementation of the age strand of the Employment Directive has revealed that the awareness-raising, social dialogue, NGO and compliance provisions are massively under-utilised. In addition, too few EU Member States are examining age discrimination in the context of an ageing society. This article argues that age discrimination now requires a more integrated approach linked to demographic change and many other perspectives. The way forward demands much more than legislation alone.
Key words: age discrimination, age equality.

Non-discrimination in International and European Law:Towards Substantive Models
By Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir

Abstract: This paper examines how ideas and approaches to non-discrimination law have developed in theory and in practice under international and European law. Firstly, the operative concepts of formal and substantive equality will be elaborated. Secondly, some key factors in a representative selection of examples from legislative developments and legal practice will be analysed in light of these concepts. It is argued that the analysis exhibits a development towards a paradigmatic shift from a formal approach to a substantive approach to non-discrimination. It is further argued that this represents an idea or value of inclusion that has become an intrinsic normative factor in the concept of non-discrimination.
Key words: Substantive equality, Non-Discrimination, Inclusion, International law, European law