1.1 Basic structure of the national legal system
Montenegro is a constitutional parliamentary democracy, with a multi-party system. The
constitution declares Montenegro to be an independent and sovereign state, with a
republican form of government, as well as being a civil, democrati c, ecological and social
justice-based state, which adheres to the rule of law.1
1.2 List of main legislation transposing and implementing the directives
After regaining independence, Montenegro has made significant progress in building a
legislative and institutional framework for ensuring equal treatment for women an d men.
Montenegro has ratified all of the more important international and regional human rights
treaties which contain guarantees of the prohibition of and protection against
discrimination, including the Eur opean Convention on Human Rights and basic freedoms,
as well as Protocol no. 12 to the Convention (adopted in 2000), which is a general
prohibition against discrimination and extends to the enjoyment of all the rights specified
The Law on Amendments to the Law on the Pr ohibition of Discrimination, adopted in the
Parliament of Montenegro on 29
compliance with Recast Directive
implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social
security.3 In addition, this piece of legislation ensures compliance with the other non-
discrimination directives: the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality
Among other grounds, the current Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination (LPD) prohibits
discrimination b ased on gender ident ity, sexual orientation and/or intersexual
characteristics (Article 19). Amendments to this law introduced a new prohibited ground
of discrimination: the c hange of gender and intersexual characteristics.5 This means that
the protection against discrimination also covers persons with physical characteristics that
do not correspond to the binary medical definition of a m an or w oman and wh o change
the sex that was assigned to them and registered at birth.
The law stipulates that multiple discrimination is one of the aggravated forms of
discrimination, based on two or more of the above-mentioned grounds of discrimination.
Amendments to the law also changed the definition of t he term ‘discrimination’: the
previous law d efined discrimination as any ‘unjustified, legal or factual, direct or indirect
making of a difference’. The new amendments deleted the term ‘unjustified’ because direct
discrimination cannot be justified by the existence of a legitimate aim and proportionate
means. This served to point out that the facts raised in order to justify direct discrimination
do not relieve the perpetrator of resp onsibility. They are legally relevant only in cases of
1 Constitution of 2007, Article 1 par. 2. Available at:
2 Law on Amendments to the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, Official Gazette of Montenegro,
implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security, OJ L 6.
4 Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between
persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, OJ L 180; an
d Council Directive 2000/78/EC
of 27 November
2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, OJ L 303.
5 The Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination (among other things) mentions change of gender and gender
identity as a ground of discrimination (Article 2, par 2). According to Article 19(4) of the Law on the
Prohibition of Discrimination, gender identity implies one’s own gender experience, which does not have to
depend on the sex that was established and registered at birth.