Is Reducing Poverty a Task of Constitutional Courts? Cover Image

Is Reducing Poverty a Task of Constitutional Courts?
Is Reducing Poverty a Task of Constitutional Courts?

Author(s): Violeta Beširević
Subject(s): Constitutional Law, International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Welfare systems, Socio-Economic Research
Published by: Institut za uporedno pravo
Keywords: poverty; social and economic rights; constitution; constitutional courts;

Summary/Abstract: There are wide-ranging discussions about the meaning and causes of poverty as well as about strategies to reduce it. Who should and who can make real difference? Is the best hope of those living on less than $1.25 a day - the global international initiatives such as the UN Millennium Development Goals, donor states, the religious charity organizations, the extremely well-off like George Soros or the rich celebrities like Angelina Jolie? In this article, I argue that constitutional courts can represent another front to address constructively the needs of the poor through judicial enforcement of social and economic rights. These rights, also called welfare rights, are regaining currency because they underline the perspectives of the needy rather than genuine intentions of the donors or fashionable trends. Although the constitutional courts cannot direct redistribution of global wealth, they may however provide a meaningful social change by digging the poor out of poverty with a help of rights talk necessary for their inclusion into societies. If we recall here how the courts included African Americans in the American society, we may find this strategy to be more attractive than it looks at first sight.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 31-58
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: English