The 21 case studies discussed in this volume clearly illustrate that a wide variety of economic, social and cultural rights are justiciable. Moreover, this publication set out many concrete examples where legal action has made a difference and has unquestionably progressed the actual realisation of the rights.
Litigating Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Achievements, Challenges and Strategies also reveals the many practical and theoretical obstacles that have been encountered in social action litgation.
The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Optional Protocol or OP-ICESCR) entered into force on 5 May 2013. With the Optional Protocol, the international community comes much closer to treating “human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis” as required by the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights. In particular, the OP-ICESCR creates a mechanism whereby rights holders can submit complaints of violations of any of their economic, social and cultural rights and hold States accountable to their obligations under the Covenant to respect, protect, and fulfill Covenant rights, including the human rights to education. This procedure will also provide further clarity on the content of human rights in different contexts, resulting in greater guidance for governments that seek to implement the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in good faith.
The objective of this manual is to provide theoretical and practical information for lawyers and other advocates interested in utilizing the OP-ICESCR as a means to enforce economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to eduxcation. A related aim of this manual is to contribute to the growing network of advocates using strategic litigation to advance ESC rights protections, by supporting ongoing exchange and collaboration.
This article considers the question of the justiciability of social and economic rights from both a conceptual and an experiential perspective. It first reviews some of the major concerns that are frequently raised in relation to whether social and economic rights can, or should be, adjudicated by courts, drawing on commentary from experts and judicial and quasi-judicial bodies considering this question. This is followed by an overview of the growing body of jurisprudence from domestic courts and regional and international bodies that have adjudicated social and economic rights.
This article critically evaluates case-law developments regarding the right to basic education as enshrined in the South African Constitution and argues that litigation, or at the least the threat of it, plays an important role in the realisation of the right to education.
Chapter two (p.47-56) is dedicated exclusively to the clarification of justiciability and the challenges of justiciability as a tool for social transformation and inclusion of the most vulnerable. It presents ‘justiciability’ as one of the steps of a holistic strategy to overcome poverty. It defends the role of judges as guarantors of rights and freedoms of the most invisible members of society.
Drawing upon a full range of case law, the report shows that adjudication of economic, social and cultural rights is possible, desirable and already being carried out by courts in all continents. The report addresses the legal and political objections to the justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights and confirms their justiciability.
This paper argues that social and economic rights, defined as rights to the satisfaction of basic needs, are constitutional essentials at domestic level and claims of the highest priority at supranational level. Their inadequate legal protection in national and supranational orders is not justified. Social rights have common foundations with civil and political rights, but have been neglected in law because of Cold War ideologies. The paper explores the role of courts and the role of legislatures in the protection of social rights, and identifies the key challenges in each of these fields.
Many countries have incorporated the right to education in their constitutions. The present article discusses the modalities of how a number of key dimensions of the right to education have been subject to judicial or quasi-judicial review. In other words, it discusses how the courts have dealt with the educational issues brought before them. Such cases do not always use right-to-education language, but generally speaking they deal with two aspects of the right to education, namely the right to receive an education and the right to choose an education. One of the major arguments against economic, social and cultural rights being on an equal footing with civil and political rights has always been that the former are not justiciable. The present article will reveal that the right to education is and has been fully justiciable in many jurisdictions.
This article was published in Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 427-443.
This issue of the INTERIGHTS Bulletin focuses on litigating the right to education in Africa. It includes the following articles:
Litigating the Right to Education: Editorial
Solomon Sacco and Susie Talbot
Africa and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Malcolm Langford and Rebecca Brown
Litigating the Right to Universal Primary Education: Challenges and Prospects
Toward Recognition of the Right to Free Education in Colombia
Esteban Hoyos-Ceballos and Camilo Castillo-Sánchez
Expropriation as a Means to Protect the Right to Basic Education: The Case of a Farm School on Private Property Facing Eviction
Lessons from Litigating Universal Primary Education in Swaziland
Developing a Litigation Strategy Regarding Non-Fee Barriers to Equal Access to Free and Compulsory Education for Children in Kenya
Litigating the Expulsion of Pregnant Girls
Tactics to Secure the Right to Education for Children Living with Albinism in Kenya
Gertrude N Angote
Dzvova v Minister of Education, Sports and Culture & Ors
Republic v Head Teacher, Kenya High School, ex parte SMY
The Legal Way of Doing Things: The Competing Powers of School Governing Bodies and Education Authorities in South Africa
The ECOWAS Decision on the Right to Education in SERAP v Nigeria
Adetokunbo Mumuni and Chinyere Nwafor
Advancing the Right to Education Through the Communication Procedure in the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
This publication is intended to support everybody that works in the basic education field in South Africa. It aims to provide a common legally grounded planning, monitoring and advocacy framework that is child-centred and recognises the interconnectedness of human rights.