A new thematic report has been published by the European Network of Legal Experts in the non-discrimination field, entitled ‘Reversing the burden of proof: Practical dilemmas at the European and national levels’. The authors, Lilla Farkas who is the ground coordinator of the Network for race and ethnic origin and Orlagh O’Farrell who is the national expert for Ireland, examine the theoretical implications as well as the implementation and application on the national level of the anti-discrimination provisions requiring the reversal of the burden of proof from the claimant to the respondent when the claimant has established ‘facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination’. In addition, the report comments upon recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union with regards to the shift in the burden of proof, and finally it analyses a number of practical concerns raised at the national as well as European levels.
The report provides highly relevant and valuable insight into the detailed theoretical underpinnings as well as the practical consequences and barriers of this procedural rule which is central and essential to the effective fight against discrimination. It provides in-depth analysis of the state of legislation and case-law both at EU and national level and examines the specific situation of lawyers working with anti-discrimination legislation in court or before equality bodies.