On behalf of the European Agenca for Fundamental Rights, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in cooperation with the Human European Consultancy conducted research on the issue of "Access to Justice in Discrimination Cases."
The aim of the research was to find out how awareness about discrimination and possibilities for combating discrimination can be raised. This awareness necessarily includes knowledge about the legal framework on the one hand, and about institutions competent for assisting people affected by discrimination on the other.
The main element of the study, therefore, was an assessment of the role of equality bodies and civil society organisations in assisting people concerned by discrimination.
In this framework, research reports about the situation in selected countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom) were drafted, which then fed into a comparative study.
The BIM was responsible for drafting the final comparative report and for writing the report on Austria. Therefore, a comprehensive literature review was accompanied by 46 interviews with representatives of equality bodies, NGOs, solicitors and complainants in discrimination cases.
The following issues were at the focus of research:
• Barriers in access to justice in discrimination cases
• Needs of potential complainants in discrimination cases
• Different qualities of different procedures
• Effectiveness and efficiency of different procedures
• Instruments that would enhance access to justice for potential complainants (like communication strategies, legal advice or strategies aiming at strengthening a culture of rights for discrimination cases)