This report analyses and compares European Union (EU) law, with a focus on the Employment Equality Directive and related case law, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in the wider context of international human rights law, to establish how they address disability equality and non-discrimination. The report identifies particular areas where the approaches of the UN and the EU to disability equality and non-discrimination law are compatible, and it also identifies the areas where compatibility appears to be lacking. In December 2010, the EU became a party to the CRPD, with the Convention coming into force for the EU in January 2011. The conclusion of the CRPD means that the EU is now bound by the obligations of the Convention to the extent of its competences. This includes an obligation on the EU not to act in a manner which is incompatible with the Convention and an obligation on the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to interpret EU legislation, including the Employment Equality Directive, which prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability, in a manner which is compatible with the CRPD as far as possible. Disability equality and combating discrimination are areas of shared competence. This means that the EU shares responsibility for complying with the CRPD with its 28 Member States, all of which have now ratified the Convention.

Authors Lisa Waddington. Andrea Broderick