AuthorKoldinská, Kristina
1 Introduction
1.1 Basic structure of the national legal system
The Czech legal syste m belongs to the Germanic branch of continental legal culture.
Written law is the basis of the legal order and the most important sources of law are
legal regulations (acts of Parliament, as well as government or ministerial orders),
international treaties (once they have been ratified by Parliament and officially declared
as binding in the Collection of Internat ional Treaties) and such fin dings of the
Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic in which an act or a part thereof has been
nullified as being unconstitutional or confirmed to be constitutional.
There are general courts district and regional courts (usually appeal courts), with
specialised senates, upper courts, a Supreme Court and a Supreme Administrative
Court. Regional courts are usually appeal courts. The Supreme Court and Supreme
Administrative Court us ually supervise procedural aspects and decide on extraordinary
remedies. The Constitutional Court oversees the con stitutionality of legislation, as well as
the case law of the general courts.
Legal c ompetence concerning gender equality is distributed among g overnment
institutions comprising the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs;1 the Ministry of Justic e;2
and the Ministry of Education.3 These ministries are responsible for proposing laws and
acts implem enting the EU gender equality framework. It is difficult to say which of the
above-mentioned instit utions takes the lead on gender equality, a s each aspect is dealt
with by the most competent ministry. There is also the Government Council for Equal
Opportunities for Women and Men, a permanent government advisory body in the a rea
of creating equal opportunities for women and men, under the auspices of the Office of
Government.4 In addition, Pa rliament (composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the
Senate) is responsible for adopting laws and acts; only courts are responsible for m aking
decisions in individual cases.
The Public Defender of Rights5 is a Czech equality body , which is also responsible for
gender equality. The Public Defender of Rights cannot make decisions in individual cases,
but can only publish reports and opinions. These have moral weight, but are not legally
1.2 List of main legislation transposing and implementing the directives
The main general national legislation on gender equality and the prohibition of sex
discrimination comprises:
Act No. 198/2009 Coll., on equal treatment and on th e legal means of protection
against discrimination and on an amendment to some laws (hereinafter the Anti-
Discrimination Act);
Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code (hereinafter the Labour Code);
Act No. 435/2004 Coll., on employment;
Act No. 99/1963 Coll., Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter the Code of Civil
Act No. 349/1999 Coll., on the public defender of rights (hereinafter the Public
Defender of Rights Act).
1 Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:
2 Ministry of Justice:
3 Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports:
4 Government Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men:
5 Public Defender of Rights:

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