Antidiscrimination disputes at courts

If you believe you have experienced discrimination and you wish to receive some form of remedy or compensation, you have the right to bring a case to a court.

Choice of the court

In general, according to the law, you can bring a case directly to the court of general jurisdiction whether you are a natural person or a legal entity, if you believe that you have been discriminated against by either private or public entities in relations falling under the material scope of the Antidiscrimination Act, i.e., in the fields of employment, social security, education and access to goods and services, including housing.

If you have been discriminated against by a public authority, you can start an administrative procedure at a higher institution first – depending on the sector to which the case relates, and bring a case to the court subsequently. 

You can appeal the decision of a lower court (district court – okresný súd in Slovak) at the regional court (krajský súd in Slovak) within 15 days upon receipt of the decision of the lower court. Finally, you can turn with an extraordinary appeal to the Supreme Court (Najvyšší súd in Slovak) within 60 days upon receipt of the decision of the appellate court. You can be represented by a lawyer of your choice, or by a lawyer of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights or an NGO, whose activities are aimed at or consist in the protection against discrimination. If you are a person in material need, you can be represented by a lawyer of the Centre for Legal Aid.

important In cases related to employment, the defining feature is the nature of this employment. If someone is discriminated against in the context of the state civil or military service, he/she can start the administrative procedure at a higher institution first, and later bring a case to the court. Otherwise, a civil case should be brought before a court. The civil procedure also applies in cases where the goods or services are provided by a public authority on the basis of a private law contract.

Constitutional Complaint

If you believe that you have been discriminated against by a public body in conjunction with the violation of some of your fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution, you could initiate a complaint at the Constitutional Court. You can bring your case before the Constitutional Court after you have exhausted all other available remedies provided by law, and within 60 days after you have received the latest decision concerning your case. You should be represented by a lawyer; however, you cannot be represented by the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, the competence of which relates only to matters falling under the scope of the Antidiscrimination Act.

Preparation for submission of a complaint

If you think that you have been discriminated against, it is important to gather all the information you can about what has happened and to act quickly. For example, ask for any decisions to be given to you in writing. You should also get the names and job titles of all the people involved and make a careful record of what has happened, including what was said, by whom, and on which dates and times.

Evidence of discrimination

Direct evidence of discrimination may be an oral statement or written statement, for example in a letter, note, e-mail by an employer, service provider, doctor, etc. There may also be witness statements.

example An e-mail by an employee of a recruitment company to a female applicant telling her that she will not be interviewed, because the company wants a man for the job.

In many cases, no such direct evidence will be available. However, there may be circumstantial or indirect evidence that indicates that your employer, service provider etc. has discriminated against you.

example You are treated differently than a person who does not belong to the same religion as you in a similar situation.  The employer regularly makes insulting remarks about people of your religion, you have heard other employees belonging to the same religion complain about discrimination, or the way you are treated is unusual or severe enough to suggest discrimination.

About this section

This section of the Guide will explain how to complain about discrimination in different procedures.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education