Enforcing the economic, social and cultural rights in the South African Constitution as justicable individual rights: the role of judicial remedies

Publication Type:



Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, Volume PhD (2007)



Judicial remedies are, amongst others, a vehicle through which respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights can be delivered to those who need them. A remedy is the perspective from which litigants judge either the success or failure of judicial decisions. Judicial remedies make the rights whole, they complete the justiciability of human rights because without them human rights remain statements of legal rhetoric. The nature of the remedies that the courts grant is not only based on the normative nature of the rights they seek to enforce. They are also influenced by factors such as the goals and objectives of judicial remedies as defined, amongst others, by the ethos of either corrective or distributive forms of justice. This thesis explored these factors and their impact on judicial remedies. Stress is put on the impact of the separation of powers doctrine, institutional competence concerns and on the forms of justice pursued by courts. The study is based on the judicial enforcement of the socio-economic rights protected in the South African 1996 Constitution. The research undertaken here was intended to guide scholars, legal practitioners and judicial officers who confront socio-economic rights issues as part of their daily work.