n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - Reinforcing duty bearer accountability for socio-economic rights in Malawi : a conceptual alternative?

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



This contribution commences by acknowledging that Malawi, like many African countries, faces serious development challenges which seriously impair the ability of African states to improve the livelihoods of their citizenry. The paper argues that any efforts by Malawi and other African countries to improve the livelihood of their citizenry are centrally connected to efforts undertaken to improve the realisation of socio-economic rights. This is because enhanced socio-economic rights realisation would immediately ameliorate the plight of the citizenry. After identifying public functionaries as central to the performance of obligations generated by human rights the paper argues that the social trust concept can be utilised to energise the performance of duties triggered by socio-economic rights. The paper argues that the social trust concept and the devices founded on it can be utilised to provide an alternative conceptual foundation for understanding and enforcing the duties that socio-economic rights generate in Malawi. The paper then demonstrates how understanding and enforcing duty-bearer obligations for socio-economic rights within the social trust framework stands a greater chance of revitalising the accountability of duty bearers to rights holders.

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