General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG)

The core task of BUG is to support people who wish to take legal action under the AGG. If you have been discriminated against and you wish to proceed to court, BUG may well help you. You can find more information about BUG's support

The Race Equality directive and the Employment directive contain a requirement that associations should be able to advise or act on behalf of plaintiffs within the framework of national equal treatment legislation.

The AGG, however, only provides for assistance, which is regulated in § 23 AGG.

Anti-discrimination associations may, as a matter of principle, act as assistants in cases of discrimination.

The prerequisite is that they

  • have at least 75 members or form a grouping of at least seven associations
  • have to operate on a non-profit and non-temporary basis.

The benefits of assistance are multiple. The association which offers assistance is mostly generally concerned with the issue of anti-discrimination and can contribute expertise from this field. The attorney may be less specialized or not at all on the subject of equal treatment and the AGG. In this case, assistance can provide detailed knowledge, thereby aiding the lawyer.


Discrimination always affects the person concerned personally. The self-esteem of a discriminated person can be seriously harmed. This is another reason why assistance by an anti-discrimination organization can be helpful, since such assistance can also provide moral support. In addition, assistance can explain the often complex and technical nature of a complaint and assist the cooperation with the lawyer.

Affected persons usually find the first contact with an anti-discrimination association easier than with a lawyer. The assistance can therefore be the (first) contact person, who then contacts a lawyer.

The assistance, however, does not have the same powers as the lawyer. The assistant has no right to inspect records or files, to question witnesses or to submit applications to the court. Judges, however, have mostly no experience with assistance, and are sometimes flexible when assistants want to submit pleadings or question witnesses.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2018