Compliance and enforcement aspects (horizontal provisions of all directives)

AuthorIustina Ionescu
11 Compliance and enforcement aspects (horizontal provisions of all
11.1 General (legal) context
11.1.1 Surveys and reports about the particular difficulties related to obtaining legal
No surveys and/or reports have been published in Romania over the last five years which
provide insights into the particular difficulties that victims of gender discrimination face in
practice in obtaining legal redress
11.1.2 Other issues related to the pursuit of a discrimination claim
The very limited trust in the justice system and public institut ions, supported by the
bureaucratic and long procedures for obtaining remedies against discrimination, represent
a significant deterrent for victims to pursuing a discrimination claim.
11.1.3 Political and societal debate and pending legislative p roposals
There has been no political and/or societal debate or pending legislative proposals on this.
11.2 Victimisation
The directives’ provisions on victimisation are implemented in national legislation. Article
2(7) of the An ti-discrimination Law consid ers any adverse treatme nt in response t o a
complaint or a legal acti on to amount to a breach of the principl e of equal treatment and
non-discrimination. The author considers that the protection against victimisation under
Romanian law complies with the directives and CJEU case law.
11.3 Access to courts
11.3.1 Difficulties and barriers related to access to cou rts
Access to courts is sufficiently safeguarded for alleged victims of sex discrimination.
Administrative complain ts and court actions against sex discrimination are exempt from
tax. At the same time, in 2012, an amendment to the Gender Equality Law limited the
possibility of alleged victims to be represented or assisted by trade unions or non-
governmental organisations in administrative procedures only, but not in court
proceedings, which is in breach of the directives.208 The Government did not give any
rationale for this legal provision; it could be connected to the general provisions of civil
procedure that are stricter with respect to legal representation. Noneth eless, the Anti-
discrimination Law prescribes that all groups exposed to dis crimination may benefit from
such support in both administrative procedures and court proceedings.209 In principle, the
Gender Equality Law should prevail as the special law in the field of gender equality. In
this particular ca se, this entails creating a disadvantage for victims of sex discrimination
compared to other victims of discrimination.
When sex discrimination takes place in employment relations, it is less probable that the
employees will file a case because t hey fear losing their income or the costs of the a ction
are too high compared t o the potential remedies available a t the end of the process. In
this context, the lack of support from women’s rights groups which could share the burden
208 Gender Equality Law, Article 44, introduced by Emergency Government Ordinance 83/2012 for the
amendment of Law No. 202/2002 regarding equal opportunities and treatment between women and men
(Ordonanta de Urgenta a Guvernului 83/2012 pentru modificarea si completarea Legii nr. 202/2002 privind
egalitatea de sanse si de tratament intre femei si barbati).
209 Anti-discrimination Law, Article 28.

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