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Equality is an ideal to which we all aspire. Yet the more closely we examine it, the more its meaning shifts. How do we explain how equal treatment can in effect lead to inequality, while unequal treatment might be necessary in order to achieve equality? The apparent paradox can be understood if we accept that equality can be formulated in different ways, depending on which underlying conception is chosen. In this highly readable yet challenging book, Sandra Fredman examines the ways in which discrimination law addresses these questions. The new edition retains the format of the highly successful first edition, while incorporating the many new developments in discrimination law since 2002, including the Equality Act 2010, human rights law, and EU law. By using a thematic approach, the book illuminates the major issues in discrimination law, while at the same time imparting a detailed understanding of the legal provisions. The comparative approach is particularly helpful; by examining comparable law in the US, India, Canada, and South Africa, as well as the UK, the book exposes common problems and canvasses differing solutions. As in the previous edition, the book locates discrimination in its wider social and historical context. Drawing on the author's wide experience of equality law in many jurisdictions, she creates an analytic framework to assess the substantive law. The book is a thought-provoking and accessible overview of the way in which equality law has adjusted to new and increasingly complex challenges. It concludes that progress has been evident, but uneven. Those dedicated to equality still face an exacting, but ultimately deeply rewarding, task.
- OUP Oxford, May 2011
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