Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

New Socio-Economic Rights Book

An important new book on socio-economic rights has just been published. The book is called “Socio-Economic Rights –Adjudication Under a Transformative Constitution.” It’s published by JUTA press. The author is Sandra Liebenberg, the Harry F. Oppenheimer Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Stellenbosch Law School in South Africa. Professor Liebenberg was involved in the drafting of the South African Constitution and is one of the world’s experts on socio-economic rights, among other topics. The book’s focus is heavily on the South African Constitutional Court’s innovative jurisprudence in this area, but the book touches on other countries as well.

Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

“Drawing on a wide range of interdisciplinary resources, this scholarly work provides an in-depth
and thorough analysis of the socio-economic rights jurisprudence of the newly democratic South
Africa. The book explores how the judicial interpretation and enforcement of socio-economic rights can be
more responsive to the conditions of systemic poverty and inequality characterising South African
society. Based on meticulous research, the work marries legal analysis with perspectives from political
philosophy and democratic theory. Cautioning against a traditional, formalistic conception of rights
and the separation of powers doctrine, the author develops a nuanced conception of substantive
reasonableness review in the context of socio-economic rights. She further argues for a reconstruction
of private law doctrines in the light of the normative purposes and values promoted by socio-economic

Socio-Economic Rights – Adjudication under a Transformative Constitution is up to date, including detailed
evaluation and critique of the most recent socio-economic rights judgments. It is set to have an impact
on debates about courts and socio-economic rights not only in South Africa, but everywhere else where
its topic has attracted interest.”


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