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Rewriting Abdulaziz: The ECtHR Grand Chamber’s Ruling in Biao v. Denmark

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In the case of Biao v. Denmark the ECtHR Grand Chamber found that Danish rules on family reunification amounted to indirect ethnic discrimination of Danish nationals of foreign origin. This judgment entails an important turn in the Court’s case law compared to the classic case of Abdulaziz, Cabales & Balkandali v. the United Kingdom. Its scope is, however, limited to discrimination against naturalised citizens and does not extend to ethnic discrimination against non-nationals. This article argues that the judgment offers welcome protection to foreign born citizens but that it fails to address the use of stereotypes underlying the discrimination complained of.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 hv AmsterdamThe Netherlands


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