National law resulting from the transposition of Directives 2000/43/EC
and 2000/78/EC by
the Law of 16 November 2001 and the Law of 27 May 2008 applies to both the private and
public sectors, including public bodies , except in areas for which transposition has not
taken place and for which jurisprudential interpretation regarding the direct effect of the
directives must be invoked, i.e. magistrates, parliamentary administrators and state
contractual ag ents outside the scope of th e La w of 1984 are excluded by application of
Article 3 of Law No. 83-634 on civil servants.
b) Liability for discrimination
In France, the pe rsonal scope of anti-discrimination law covers the private and public
sectors, including public bodies, for the purpose of liability for discrimin ation.
Physical and legal persons, whether public or private, are bound to uphold the prohibition
of discrimination in criminal law (Articles 121-2 PC for legal persons and 432-7 PC for public
authorities), private law and public law. In addition, Article 5 of Law No. 2008-496
expressly provides that the law is applicable to all public and private persons.
3.2 Material scope
3.2.1 Employment, self-employment and occupation
In France, national legislation does not apply to all sectors of private and public
employment, self-employment and occupation, including contract work, military service
and holding statutory office, for the five grounds.
Further to t
No. 2008-496, Article 2
employees, civil servants and state contracting agents as well as independent workers are
protected against discrimination with respect to all the grounds covered by Article 19 TFEU
and others specific to French law.
The list of grounds set out in the Penal Code is repeated in all legislation163 except for the
ground of opinion, provided in Law No. 83-634 of 13 July 1983 on the rights and
obligations of civil servants, the ground of ‘holding a local political office’, which is provided
in the Labour Code, and the ground of banking residence, which is provided in the Law of
27 May 2008
The extent of the protection and the legal regimes are translated in the Penal Code, the
Labour Code and Law No. 83-634 of 13 July 1983 on the rights and obligations of civil
servants. The material scope varies according to whether the situation is covered by the
Penal Code, the Labour Code or administrative law and according to the ground of
However, Law No. 83-634 of 13 July 1983 on the rights and obligations of civil servants
states in Articl e 3 that , in conformity with Articl e 64 of the Constitution of 1958, it does
not cover the status of magistrates who are not considered as civil servants. Ordinance
No. 58-1270 of 22 December 1958 regulates the rules applicable to both prosecution and
state magistrates and judges on the bench.164 Public servants working in parliament are
also not subject to Law No. 83-634, since Article 3 provid es that they are gove rned by
separate parliamentary rules. These texts have not been amended to implement Directives
163 The grounds are: mores, sexual orientation, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, belonging, whether real or
supposed to an ethnic origin, a nation, a race or a determined religion, physical appearance, last name,
family situation, union activities, political and philosophical opinions, age, health, disability, genetic
characteristics, loss of autonomy, place of residence, capacity to express oneself in another language than
French, and economic vulnerability.
164 Ordinance No. 58-1270 of 22 December 1958 relating to the status of magistrates (Ordonnance No. 58-
1270 du 22 décembre 1958 portant loi organique relative au statut de la magistrature), available at: