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South African Judge Lays Down the Law on the Right to a Basic Education

South African Judge Lays Down the Law on the Right to a Basic Education

In previous posts, Chris McConnachie has documented the rise and the successes of South Africa’s emerging education adequacy movement.  In this post he analyses the movement’s most recent victory in the battle for adequate school furniture. One of the most visible manifestations of the ongoing crisis in South African education is the severe shortage of [...]

Grootboom and the right to housing: A (Virtual) Comparative Conversation between students at UNSW and Oxford

Grootboom and the right to housing: A (Virtual) Comparative Conversation between students at UNSW and Oxford

Students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Oxford recently demonstrated the potential of a virtual classroom as a medium for facilitating debate and comparative analysis of human rights issues. Students from UNSW created a short video entitled “An Australian Grootboom: What Would It Look Like, and How Would It [...]

The European Social Charter in Austerity Europe: Damning Conclusions on the Right of Access to Healthcare in Spain

The European Social Charter in Austerity Europe: Damning Conclusions on the Right of Access to Healthcare in Spain

Recent conclusions published by the European Committee on Social Rights (ECSR) present yet another damning indictment of the impact of austerity measures on human rights across Europe. In particular, the Committee’s condemnation of discriminatory healthcare policy in Spain points to the increased burden of austerity measures placed on vulnerable minorities. The Contracting Parties in the [...]

Not reaping the benefits: the United Kingdom’s continuing violation of Article 12§1 of the European Social Charter

Not reaping the benefits: the United Kingdom’s continuing violation of Article 12§1 of the European Social Charter

On 29 January 2014, the European Committee of Social Rights found, yet again, that the United Kingdom is in violation of Article 12§1 of the European Social Charter (‘the Charter’). This finding sets off alarm bells regarding the legality of the Coalition Government’s ‘welfare reforms’ implemented by the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The UK’s compliance [...]

Kong Yunming v The Director of Social Welfare: Constitutional protection of social welfare rights in Hong Kong

Kong Yunming v The Director of Social Welfare: Constitutional protection of social welfare rights in Hong Kong

On 17 December 2013, the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong unanimously allowed the appeal of Madam Kong in Kong Yunming v The Director of Social Welfare (Kong). Kong, an applicant for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), was married to a Hong Kong permanent resident who died one day after she arrived in Hong Kong [...]

A New Frontier? Human Rights and Public Finance

A New Frontier? Human Rights and Public Finance

The link between human rights and states’ resource policies is currently a hot topic politically as well as academically. In the aftermath of the recent global economic and financial crises the implementation of economic and social rights in particular has faced a push-back from politicians advocating austerity budgets. Appeals to resource scarcity are commonly invoked [...]

The role of public private partnerships in labour rights advancement

The role of public private partnerships in labour rights advancement

Public private partnerships (PPPs) are a new form of institutional organisation by which public organisations, civil society and major companies pursue collaborative and voluntary strategies to achieve a common goal. When in partnerships, organisations decide to undertake specific tasks, share risks, responsibilities, resources, competencies and benefits. PPPs have become popular in projects aiming at advancing [...]

Domestic Workers – The ILO Convention Comes into Force

Domestic Workers – The ILO Convention Comes into Force

On the 5th of September 2013, the ILO Domestic Workers Convention (C189) came into force. The adoption of the Convention and its supplementing recommendation, in June 2011, was a landmark moment for domestic workers and for the international labour law regime.  For domestic workers it entailed recognition that they are part of the paid labour market and [...]

Ready to Learn?

Ready to Learn?

South Africa’s Legal Resources Centre (LRC) launched a new book—Ready to Learn? A Legal Resource for Realising the Right to Education—on 25 October at the Open Society Foundations in New York City (see press release here). Chris McConnachie explains the significance of this publication. Followers of South Africa’s socio-economic rights case law will be familiar [...]

Marikana Funding Decision – A Victory for Justice, Fairness and Equality

Marikana Funding Decision – A Victory for Justice, Fairness and Equality

In the wake of the Marikana tragedy, during which 40 striking mineworkers were shot and killed by the South African Police Service (“SAPS”), the Commission of Inquiry subsequently established by the President has been marred with problems. On 1 October 2012, its very first day of operation, the Inquiry continued with its proceedings despite the [...]

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