—Richard Albert, Boston College Law School
With apologies for the sometimes garbled audio, we are pleased to continue our new virtual book review roundtable series here at I-CONnect. In this series, we host an author and one or more commentators to discuss a recent book in comparative public law.
In this latest virtual book review roundtable, Bernadette Atuahene and Richard Stacey comment on Brian Ray’s new book on Engaging with Social Rights, to be published later this month by Cambridge University Press.
Bernadette Atuahene is a Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. She is the author of We Want What’s Ours: Learning from South Africa’s Land Restitution Program (Oxford University Press 2014).
Richard Stacey is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. He is co-editor of a leading reference work titled Constitutional Law of South Africa.
And Brian Ray is the Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University. Here is a short description of his book, which is the focus of our virtual roundtable:
With a new and comprehensive account of the South African Constitutional Court’s social rights decisions, Brian Ray argues that the Court’s procedural enforcement approach has had significant but underappreciated effects on law and policy and challenges the view that a stronger substantive standard of review is necessary to realize these rights. Drawing connections between the Court’s widely acclaimed early decisions and the more recent second-wave cases, Ray explains that the Court has responded to the democratic legitimacy and institutional competence concerns that consistently constrain it by developing doctrines and remedial techniques that enable activists, civil society and local communities to press directly for rights-protective policies through structured, court-managed engagement processes. Engaging with Social Rights shows how those tools could be developed to make state institutions responsive to the needs of poor communities by giving those communities and their advocates consistent access to policy-making and planning processes.
The full discussion runs for 71 minutes, and is available here. We thank these three scholars for participating in our virtual book review roundtable series.