General legal framework

AuthorKoldinská, Kristina
2 General legal framework
2.1 Constitution
The Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Act No. 2/1993
Coll.), which is part of the Czech Constitution, guarantees equal rights and freedoms to
all human beings. Article 3(1) states: Everyone is guaranteed the enjoyment of her
fundamental rights and basic freedoms without regard to gender, race, colour of skin,
language, faith and religion, political or other conviction, national or social origin,
membership of a national or ethnic minority, property, birth, or other statu s.’
In the Czech Constitution, there is no ban on discrimination stricto sensu.
There are no further articles in the Constitution or the Charter of Fundamental Rights
and Freedoms pertaining to equality between men and women.
The principle of equality, as one of principles of fundamental rights and freedoms can be
invoked in horizontal relations in the sense that a party to a case can use fundamental
rights as a legal argument. Fundamental rights are in general addressed to public
authorities. Nevertheless, according to the case law of the Czech Constitutional Court,
fundamental rights and their principles may influence and extend into horizontal
relations.6 However, a party to a case cannot explicitly rely on the Constitution in
horizontal relations.
2.2 Equal treatment legislation
Czech legislation contains special equal treatment legislation, in particular the Anti-
Discrimination Act. This act prohibits discrimination, including sex discrimination.
Under Section 2, the Anti-Discrimination Act defines the right to equal treatment as the
right not to be discriminated against. A number of grounds apart from sex are also
covered: race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion and
belief or opinions.
The Anti-Discrimination Act provides a definition of sex discrimination. Article 2(3) states
that discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy, maternity or paternity or sexual
identification is also considered discrimination on grounds of sex. Czech legislation uses
the term ‘gender identification’ which means the same as ‘gender identity’.
Prohibition of discrimination can be found in the Labour Code. Section 16(2) states: Any
discrimination, in particular discrimination on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, racial or
ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, social origin, gender, language, health, age,
religion or belief, property, marital and family status is prohibited in employment
relationships, relationship or duties to family, political or other sentiments, membership
and activities in political parties or political movements, trade unions or employers
organisations; discrimination on grounds of pregnancy, maternity, paternity or sexual
identification is considered to be discrimination on grounds of sex.
Section 4 of the Employment Act also prohibits explicitly discrimination by stating that:
‘Any discrimination is prohibited when exercising the right to employment. The right to
employment cannot be denied to a citizen on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation,
racial or ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, social origin, gender, language, health,
6 The judgment of the Constitutional Court Pl. ÚS 38/06 of 3 April 2007 ECLI:CZ:US:2007:Pl.US.38.06.1
states ’[t]he fundamental right or freedom is the content of the relationship between the subject (bearer)
(individual and derivatives, as well as a legal person) and the addressee, which is a public authority. The
exceptions to this general construction are cases of the horizontal effect of fundamental rights, cases in
which the addressee of fundamental rights (or freedoms) is not a public authority, but a private party.’

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT