n South African Journal on Human Rights - The role of administrative law in enforcing socio-economic rights : revisiting Joseph

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



has been both applauded by administrative lawyers, as a case in which formalism was rejected and a substantive model of administrative law adjudication was embraced, and condemned by human rights lawyers, as a case that focused on procedural fairness rather than 'the hard rights of citizens and their plight'. I argue that because concerned a group of poor and vulnerable occupiers of an inner-city building deprived of their electricity, resulting in an inability to meet their basic needs: to cook, refrigerate their food, heat their homes, do homework, operate medical equipment, etc, is primarily a socio-economic rights case in which a requirement of the administrative law, procedural fairness, was invoked so as to protect and enforce a right to electricity. I critique the administrative law strategy invoked on behalf of the occupiers in to enforce the occupiers' claim to have their electricity reconnected; the courts' treatment of that strategy; and whether it is an effective and, if so, desirable tool for the enforcement of socio-economic rights in the future.

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