Two verdicts reached, determining direct discrimination

Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) informs that the Basic Court Skopje II reached two verdicts, partly accepting the complaints and determining direct discrimination.

The first verdict was reached on August 26, 2017. The Court determined repeated discrimination as a severe form of discrimination, violation of the right to equality and limitation to the right of freedom of movement, leaving the territory of Republic of Macedonia.

The Court stipulated that the explanation of the border officials to refuse the plaintiffs to leave the Republic of Macedonia is contrary to the factual situation. The plaintiffs owned valid biometric passports, return tickets, all necessary documents and couldn’t represent threat to the public policy and international relations of R. Macedonia and EU member states.   Considering all written and verbal evidence, the provisions of the Constitution, Macedonian laws and Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Court determined severe discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin and infringement of the right to freedom of movement.

The other verdict was reached on July 6, 2017. The Basic Court Skopje II proceeding, according to the instructions specified by the Appellate Court Skopje, determined that the termination of the plaintiffs employment contract represents violation of  her right to equality on grounds of personal, family and marital status i.e. pregnancy, for the second time.

Considering the instructions of the Appellate Court, the evidence of the case, applicable national laws, international treaties ratified by the Republic of Macedonia and the case law of the ECtHR, the Basic Court Skopje II ruled that there is no need to consider if other persons in relatively similar situations enjoy more favorable treatment, since there is no appropriate comparator as the person in question is a pregnant woman.

During the proceedings, the defendant’s key argument was that the plaintiff’s contract would have been terminated despite her pregnancy. However, the Court reasoned that the defendant in the case failed to prove that the plaintiff would have been treated differently if she had not been pregnant.

The litigation of these cases is supported by the Macedonian Young Lawyers Association. The plaintiffs are represented by Attorney at law Sofija Bojkovska, MYLA’s affiliated lawyer.