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- Volume 21, Issue 1, 2005
South African Journal on Human Rights - Volume 21, Issue 1, 2005
Volume 21, Issue 1, 2005
Author Sandra LiebenbergSource: South African Journal on Human Rights 21, pp 1 –31 (2005)More Less
There has been considerable criticism of the use of human dignity as a guiding value in the context of South Africa's equality jurisprudence. What are the implications of the use of the value in socio-economic rights jurisprudence? Drawing on the work of Martha Nussbaum, the article links the value of human dignity to the material conditions necessary to enable people to develop and exercise their capabilities. Access to basic social services is crucial not only to people's physical survival, but also to enable the development of their potential to shape their own lives and to be active agents in the shaping of our new society. Human dignity as a relational concept requires society to respect the equal worth of the poor by marshalling its resources to redress the conditions that perpetuate their marginalisation. This, in turn, requires a focus on the actual impact of the state's actions or omissions on the life chances of disadvantaged groups, and a response that is proportionate to the seriousness of that impact. In constitutional adjudication, it requires that a high burden of justification is placed on the state in cases involving a deprivation of basic human needs. The article concludes by examining how the Constitutional Court's reasonableness review standard and remedial jurisprudence could be strengthened to accord greater value to this conception of human dignity.
Know your rights : exploring the connections between human rights and poverty reduction with specific reference to South AfricaAuthor J.C. MubangiziSource: South African Journal on Human Rights 21, pp 32 –46 (2005)More Less
The purpose of this article is to explore and analyse the link between human rights and poverty on the one hand and the role human rights can and do play in poverty reduction on the other. Drawing on research conducted by the author, the article shows how levels of public awareness of human rights are directly linked to levels of poverty in South Africa. Lack of knowledge and public awareness of human rights is mainly prevalent among the poor. Any programme aimed at reducing poverty in South Africa should adopt a holistic strategy that not only incorporates a human rights approach but also addresses the question of the low levels of human rights education.
Author Daniel D. BradlowSource: South African Journal on Human Rights 21, pp 47 –85 (2005)More Less
International development law (IDL) is the branch of international law that deals with the rights and duties of states and other actors in the development process. Its original content was premised on a particular generally accepted understanding of develop- ment. Under the pressure of the problems of development that arose during the 1970s and 1980s this general agreement on the key issues disintegrated. As a consequence, the consensus on the content of international development law also began to break down. Today, competing idealised views of development shape the current debate about the content of international development law. What can be termed `the traditional view' maintains that development is about economic growth. It argues that the challenges of economic development can be distinguished from other social, cultural, environmental and political issues in society, including human rights. What I call `the modern view' has a holistic understanding of development. It argues that development should be viewed as an integrated process of change involving economic, social, cultural, political and environmental dimensions. The two perceptions differ in their understanding of the substantive content of IDL and the importance they attach to the principle of sovereignty and in their view of the relationship between national and international law in the law applicable to the development process.
Author John TobinSource: South African Journal on Human Rights 21, pp 86 –126 (2005)More Less
The proliferation of bills of rights in national constitutions throughout all regions of the world has been well documented. To date there has been no real attempt to examine the place of children's rights within this development. This article is a response to this omission. It examines the transformative effect of international law and the extent to which human rights instruments, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, have influenced the treatment of children in national constitutions. It identifies evidence of an increasing tendency to transform some of the obligations assumed by states under international law into constitutional recognition and protection of children's rights at the domestic level. It also examines the significance and limitations of this development, concluding that, while the constitutional recognition of children's rights offers no guarantees with respect to the enjoyment of their rights, at a minimum it legitimates political discourse on children's rights, allowing children to be seen and, increasingly, heard.
The state's duty to protect property owners v the state's duty to provide housing : thoughts on the Modderklip case : notes and commentsAuthor A.J. Van der WaltSource: South African Journal on Human Rights 21, pp 144 –161 (2005)More Less