oa Constitutional Court Review - The South African Constitutional Court and socio-economic rights as 'insurance swaps'



Socio-economic rights are a central terrain of struggle in new democracies. Often deemed essential for the legitimacy of the constitution at the time of adoption, they are subject to downstream pressures at the implementation stage as governments confront limited budgets and the need for macroeconomic credibility. The result is a gap between promise and reality. It is not surprising that, in an age of judicialisation, socio-economic rights have become a central topic of constitutional adjudication in many new democracies, as courts struggle to balance normative commitments with democratic prerogatives.


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