Poverty and Fundamental Rights

Author: David Bilchitz
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191021695
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This book addresses the pressing issue of severe poverty and inequality, and questions why violations of socio-economic rights are treated with less urgency than violations of civil and political rights, such as the right to freedom of speech or to vote? Socio-economic rights have been widely regarded as aspirational goals, rhetorically useful, but having few practical implications for government policy and the distribution of resources within a polity. It is not therefore surprising that socio-economic rights have been systematically neglected in the world today, with millions still lacking access to even basic shelter, food or health care. This book seeks to provide a sustained argument for placing renewed emphasis upon socio-economic rights in the fight against desperate poverty. It utilizes a combination of political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy in its focus on the right to food, to housing, and to health care. Part I involves the development of a philosophical theory of rights that provides a common normative foundation for both civil and political rights and socio-economic rights. This theory involves developing an understanding of value that recognizes individuals have fundamental interests of differing levels of urgency. It also involves drawing an important distinction between conditional rights that flow purely from a normative focus on the equal importance of individuals and unconditional rights that involve competing normative and pragmatic considerations. A general theory of judicial review is also put forward that provides a justification for judicial involvement in the enforcement of socio-economic rights. Part II then considers the implications of this general philosophical theory for the interpretation and enforcement of socio-economic rights in law. The focus of this more applied discussion is upon South Africa, where entrenched, directly justiciable socio-economic rights are expressly protected in the constitution. The current approach of the South African Constitutional Court to their interpretation and enforcement is considered and criticized primarily for failing to provide sufficient content to such rights. A modified version of the minimum core approach to socio-economic rights is proposed as an alternative way which is supported by the philosophical theory developed in the first part of the book. This approach requires priority to be given to the worst off in society through placing a heavy burden of justification on any society that fails to meet the minimal interests of individuals. It also requires concrete steps to be taken towards realising a higher level of provision that guarantees individuals the necessary conditions for realising a wide range of purposes. This is also shown to have important policy implications both for developing and developed countries that can, it is hoped, assist in creating an urgency and commitment towards eradicating extreme poverty.

Children s Socio Economic Rights Democracy And The Courts

Author: Aoife Nolan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847318312
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book is concerned with children's economic and social rights (sometimes referred to simply as children's social rights). Despite increased academic interest in both children's rights and socio-economic rights over the last two decades, children's social and economic rights remain a comparatively neglected area. This is particularly true with regard to the role of the courts in the enforcement of such social rights. Aoife Nolan's book remedies this omission, focussing on the circumstances in which the courts can and should give effect to the social and economic rights of children. The arguments put forward are located within the context of, and develop, long-standing debates in constitutional law, democratic theory and human rights. The claims made by the author are supported and illustrated by concrete examples of judicial enforcement of children's social and economic rights from a variety of jurisdictions. The work is thus rooted in both theory and practice. The author brings together and addresses a wide range of issues that have never previously been considered together in book form. These include children's socio-economic rights; children as citizens and their position in relation to democratic decision-making processes; the implications of children and their rights for democratic and constitutional theory; the role of the courts in ensuring the enforcement of children's rights; and the debates surrounding the litigation and adjudication of social and economic rights. This book thus represents a major original contribution to the existing scholarship in a range of areas including human (and specifically social) rights, legal and political theory and constitutional law. 'Children's rights were often thought to be synonymous with economic and social welfare prior to the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Ironically, since that time, remarkably little scholarship has been devoted to the vitally important economic and social rights dimensions of children's rights. Nolan's book singlehandedly remedies that neglect and does so in a sophisticated, nuanced and balanced way. It provides a superb account of the pros and cons of judicial activism in promoting these rights.' Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor, NYU Law School 'Thus far the burgeoning literature on the judicial enforcement of socio-economic rights has failed to engage in a sustained, systemic manner with this topic from the perspective of children and the complexity of their status as citizens within contemporary democracies. This book fills this gap and makes a major contribution to the literature in the three interrelated areas of the judicial review of socio-economic rights claims, children's rights, and democratic theory. Nolan navigates skilfully through the dense, but rich literature in these areas as well as relevant international and comparative law. In so doing she illuminates both the pitfalls and potential of resorting to courts in a partial response to the multifaceted and deeply entrenched global phenomenon of child poverty.' Professor Sandra Liebenberg, HF Oppenheimer Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Stellenbosch Law Faculty. Winner of the Kevin Boyle Book Prize 2012, awarded by the Irish Association of Law Teachers to a book that is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the understanding of law.

Socio Economic Rights in Emerging Free Markets

Author: Surya Deva
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317804694
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In the last decade or so, China and India have emerged on the global stage as two powerful free market economies. The tremendous economic growth in China and India has meant that they have been able to lift millions of people out of the poverty trap. This growth has not, however, been without problems. Apart from worrying levels of environmental pollution, a significant number of people are still struggling to live a decent life as they do not have adequate access to basic needs such as food, health services, education, water, and housing. The traditional old age support mechanism is collapsing amidst push for urbanisation and the practice of nuclear families, while the alternative social security system has not been put in place. Both China and India stress the importance of socio-economic rights, have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and have in place a strong legal framework for the realisation of such rights. The constitutions of China and India accord significant importance to socio-economic rights and the both countries have numerous laws, regulations and policies that seek to implement various socio-economic rights. This book investigates how the gradual adoption of free market ideology has impacted on the realisation of socio-economic rights in both India and China and how the constitutional and legal frameworks have made necessary adjustments. Chapters in this volume, which are written by academics of international standing, explore how these two countries have tried to overcome certain common governance challenges in realising socio-economic rights. The role played by courts in India and China in the protection and realisation of socio-economic rights is considered along with the use and limitations of public interest litigation in achieving these rights. Finally, the effectiveness of measures in realising socio-economic rights are evaluated in relation to specific rights such as the rights to food, health, education, social security, and gender equality.

Engaging with Social Rights

Author: Brian Ray
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107029457
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With a new and comprehensive account of the South African Constitutional Court's social rights decisions, Brian Ray argues that the Court's procedural enforcement approach has had significant but underappreciated effects on law and policy and challenges the view that a stronger substantive standard of review is necessary to realize these rights. Drawing connections between the Court's widely acclaimed early decisions and the more recent second-wave cases, Ray explains that the Court has responded to the democratic legitimacy and institutional competence concerns that consistently constrain it by developing doctrines and remedial techniques that enable activists, civil society and local communities to press directly for rights-protective policies through structured, court-managed engagement processes. Engaging with Social Rights shows how those tools could be developed to make state institutions responsive to the needs of poor communities by giving those communities and their advocates consistent access to policy-making and planning processes.

Economic Social and Cultural Rights in Armed Conflict

Author: Gilles Giacca
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191026913
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book addresses the international legal obligation to protect economic, social, and cultural human rights in times of armed conflict and other situations of armed violence. These rights provide guarantees to individuals of their fundamental rights to work, to an adequate standard of living (food, water, housing), to education, and to health. Armed violence can take many forms, from civil unrest or protest and other forms of internal disturbances and tensions to higher levels of violence that may amount to armed conflict, whether of an international or of a non-international character. However, in all such cases the protection of ESC rights is sorely challenged. Situations of actual or potential violence present a number of challenges to the application and implementation of human rights law in general and socio-economic rights obligations more specifically. This book sets out the legal framework, defining what constitutes a minimum universal standard of human rights protection applicable in all circumstances. It assesses the concept and content of ESC rights' obligations, and evaluates how far they can be legally applicable in various scenarios of armed violence. By looking at the specific human rights treaty provisions, it discusses how far ESC rights obligations can be affected by practical and legal challenges to their implementation. The book addresses the key issues facing the protection of such rights in times of armed conflict: the legal conditions to limit ESC rights on security grounds, including the use of force; the extraterritorial applicability of international human rights treaties setting out ESC rights; the relationship between human rights law and international humanitarian law; and the obligations of non-state actors under human rights law and with particular relevance to the protection of ESC rights. The book assesses the nature of these potential challenges to the protection of ESC rights, and offers solutions to reinforce their continued application.

Contesting Economic and Social Rights in Ireland

Author: Thomas Murray
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107155355
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A comparative analysis 'from below' of attempts to constitutionalise socio-economic rights in Ireland from 1848 rebellions to present day protests.

Socio economic Rights

Author: Sandra Liebenberg
Publisher: Juta and Company Ltd
ISBN: 9780702184802
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Drawing on a wide range of interdisciplinary resources, this scholarly work provides an in-depth and thorough analysis of the socio-economic rights jurisprudence of the newly democratic South Africa. The book explores how the judicial interpretation and enforcement of socio-economic rights can be more responsive to the conditions of systemic poverty and inequality characterising South African society. Based on meticulous research, the work marries legal analysis with perspectives from political philosophy and democratic theory.

The Politics of Principle

Author: Theunis Roux
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110701364X
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Uses a single-country case study to enrich research on the role of constitutional courts in new democracies.

Judicial Review Socio Economic Rights and the Human Rights Act

Author: Ellie Palmer
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847313760
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the United Kingdom during the past decade, individuals and groups have increasingly tested the extent to which principles of English administrative law can be used to gain entitlements to health and welfare services and priority for the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. One of the primary purposes of this book is to demonstrate the extent to which established boundaries of judicial intervention in socio-economic disputes have been altered by the extension of judicial powers in sections 3 and 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, and through the development of a jurisprudence of positive obligations in the European Convention on Human Rights 1950. Thus, the substantive focus of the book is on developments in the constitutional law of the United Kingdom. However, the book also addresses key issues of theoretical human rights, international and comparative constitutional law. Issues of justiciability in English administrative law have therefore been explored against a background of two factors: a growing acceptance of the need for balance in the protection in modern constitutional arrangements afforded to civil and political rights on the one hand and socio-economic rights on the other hand; and controversy as to whether courts could make a more effective contribution to the protection of socio-economic rights with the assistance of appropriately tailored constitutional provisions.