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Discrimination, equality and social inclusion

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Although laws against discrimination have conventionally been justified and articulated according to various conceptions of equality, tensions between different notions of equality undermine the coherence of these explanations. The aim of social inclusion is proposed as part of an alternative justification for discrimination laws. As well as exploring the meaning and implications of the policy of social inclusion for discrimination laws, the extent to which the law already embodies this idea is assessed with particular reference to the scope of anti-discrimination laws, proof of discrimination, justification defences, and positive discrimination. It is concluded that the goal of social inclusion has the potential to provide a vital ingredient in a more coherent, though not uncritical, account of the aims of anti-discrimination legislation.

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