Claims have been made that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is more lenient in accepting age discriminating measures affecting older people than in those affecting younger people. This claim is scrutinised in this article, first, by making a quantitative analysis of the outcomes of the CJEU’s case law on age discrimination cases, followed by a qualitative analysis of the line of reasoning of the CJEU in these cases and concluding with an evaluation of the Court’s reasoning against three theoretical approaches that set the context for the assessment of the justifications of age discrimination: complete life view, fair innings argument and typical anti-discrimination approach. The analysis shows that the CJEU relies more on the complete life view approach to assess measures discriminating old people and the fair innings argument approach to assess measures discriminating young people. This results in old people often having to accept disadvantageous measures and young workers often being treated more favourably.

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Keywords age discrimination, old people, young people, complete life view, fair innings argument
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Series Erasmus Law Review
Journal Erasmus Law Review
ter Haar, B. (2020). Is the CJEU Discriminating in Age Discrimination Cases?. Erasmus Law Review, 13(1), 78–91. doi:10.5553/ELR.000159