Discrimination against women candidates by the minimum height requirement for admission to Police Academy

Discrimination against women candidates by the minimum height requirement for admission to Police Academy, according to recent CJEU judgment

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The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in case C-409/16, which was recently published, was asked to reply to a request for a preliminary ruling addressed to it by the Greek Council of the State, regarding compliance of the minimum height requirement for admission to Police Academy of at least 1.70m, common for both sexes. As the Ombudsman had already stipulated beforehand, the Court held that the provisions of the existing EU law on gender equality, “must be interpreted as precluding a law of a Member State, which makes candidates’ admission to the competition for entry to the police school of that Member State subject, whatever their sex, to a requirement that they are of a physical height of at least 1.70m, since that law works to the disadvantage of a far greater number of women compared with men and that law does not appear to be either appropriate or necessary to achieve the legitimate objective that it pursues”. As a result of the judgment, the Ombudsman calls for immediate legislative action to eliminate all existing forms of discrimination against women and to promote equal treatment and equal opportunities between women and men in the access to the Police and all other Security Forces.

Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 18 October 2017

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