Latest developments in 2019

AuthorOuhnaoui, Hania; Bribosia, Emmanuelle; Navasartian, Areg; Rorive, Isabelle
12.1 Legislative amendments
- The framework Ordinance to ensure a diversity policy and to combat discrimination
in the local Brussels civil service: on 25 April (Belgian OJ 24 May 2019), the
Parliament of the Region of Brussels-Capital voted for a new framework Ordinance to
ensure a diversity policy and to combat discrimination in the local Brussels civil
service, which replaces the former Ordinance of 4 September 2008 to the same
effect. This new Ordinance is essentially a rewrite of the former 2008 ordinance, with
some marginal modifications. The main purpose of the law remains to promote
diversity policies within the Brussels civil service, and to lay down a framework to
combat discrimination in the workplace.
Several differences can be noted: the former Ordinance’s title refers to the Brussels
civil service, whereas the new Ordinance refers to the local civil services. This is also
reflected in the provision on the definitions of the Ordinance (Article 4), which is a
much longer list in the new Ordinance, underlining explicitly all levels of local
authorities that are covered by the new Ordinance. Factually, the scope of application
remains unchanged although it is now clearer. The new Ordinance also provides at
Article 5 that any discrimination based on pregnancy, birthing or motherhood,
change of sex, gender identity and gender expression i s assimilated to a
discrimination based on sex. Another change is that the new Ordinance implicates
the regional employment office (Actiris) much more in the development and
implementation of diversity schemes. The diversity officers of Actiris must now assist
local authorities in this task. The timing and financial conditions of the diversity
policies to be put in place by local authorities is also outlined in more detail.
The new Ordinance also provides for a check for compliance with the Ordinance.
Where formerly the only oversight was carried out by the judiciary, the new
Ordinance provides for the appointment of civil servants mandated to ensure the
respect of the Ordinance by all local authorities. Finally, a change is made regarding
equality bodies. The new Ordinance specifically designates Unia as the equality body
with legal standing to defend victims in court and also as the body with legal standing
to mediate between parties. The former Ordinance, dating back to 2008, and
therefore before the creation of Unia, allows a much larger number of bodies, meeting
certain conditions, to fulfil these roles. That power has now been centralised in the
hands of Unia.
12.2 Case law
Name of the court: Constitutional Court
Date of decision: 26 September 2019
Name of the parties: Arc-en-Ciel Wallonie and Maison Arc-en-Ciel de Liège Alliàge v.
the Council of Ministers
Reference number: No. 122/2019
Address of the webpage:
Brief summary: The applicants criticised the difference of treatment between the
homosexual or bisexual male population and the rest of the population with regard to blood
donation. The Law of 11 August 2017 on various health-related provisions (Loi du 11 août
2017 portant des dispositions diverses en matière de santé) prohibited men who had had
sexual intercourse with other men from donating blood for a period of 12 months after the
last sexual contact with another man (Article 8). On the one hand, the court found that the
legislation with regard to donations of fresh frozen plasma violates Articles 10 (equality
before the law) and 11 (non-discrimination) of the Constitution and that the difference in
treatment is not reasonably justified. As a result, Article 8 of the Law of 11 August 2017
was repealed with regard to donations of fresh frozen plasma. On the other hand, the Court

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