The right to equality is a tool, which enables citizens to seek change within their legal system from the bottom-up. Using this right, to prompt constitutional review of legislative provisions and governmental practices, opens up an invaluable dialogue between citizens, government and the court. This dialogue may, in turn, lead to the invalidation of such provisions and practices, replacing them with new more equal versions. As such, the right to equality has historically been pivotal to the restructuring of gender relations within society. Within the Republic of Cyprus, though, while the legislator continuously differentiates his treatment according to gender, a precedent of the Supreme Court, formulated in the case of Dias United (1996), has barred this right from activating. This has granted the legislator the ability to ‘legally’ infringe upon constitutionally guaranteed rights and perpetuate a patriarchal social structure leading to arbitrary results.
Right to equality, art. 28, gender equality, Dias United, case of Vrountou v Cyprus
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