Sweden: Affirmative action only applies to equal cases

Uppsala University was guilty of discrimination when it reserved places on its law course for people with immigrant backgrounds, Sweden's Supreme Court has ruled.

The university was taken to court by two women who were rejected from the programme in 2003, even though they had better marks than all 30 immigrant applicants. The pair had previously won their case in the district court and court of appeal.

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The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the university discriminated against both women, awarding them 75,000 kronor in compensation. The state will also pay costs of 41,000 kronor.

The Supreme Court ruled that setting quotas is acceptable as long as applicants are treated equally. In this case, the immigrant applicants should have needed at least the same marks as the other applicants. The court ruled that in this case the non-Swedish applicants were "strongly" favoured in a manner which cannot be supported by law.
Source: The Local (English)

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