The potential of structural interdicts to constitute effective relief in socio-economic rights cases

Swanepoel, Philip (2017-12)

Thesis (LLD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The realisation of socio-economic rights for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society is of critical importance if South Africa’s project of transformative constitutionalism is to succeed. It is thus important that courts grant effective relief in cases where socio-economic rights have been found to be violated. This thesis sets out to determine whether the structural interdict in South African constitutional law can constitute such effective relief for socio-economic rights violations. This thesis firstly aims to determine what the judicially recognised concept of effective relief entails. This is done by developing an evaluative framework that should be used to both design and evaluate remedies granted in cases where human rights have been violated. This evaluative framework consists of certain remedial norms, drawn from Susan Sturm’s scholarship, to which public law remedies should adhere and also of more concrete factors that should be considered by courts during the remedial design phase. The remedial norms include participation, respect for the separation of powers doctrine, impartiality, reasoned decision making and remediation. The factors which should be considered include the nature of the right and nature of the violation, diverse interests, reason for the violation, practicability concerns, and the deterrent effect of the remedy. The second part of this thesis aims to determine if structural interdicts can constitute effective relief. This thesis argues that structural interdicts can constitute such relief, and that it holds specific potential to remedy systemic violations. However, structural interdicts will only constitute effective relief if diverse stakeholders participate in the remedial design phase and if the court sufficiently retains supervisory jurisdiction over the case. This thesis lastly proposes a participatory structural interdict model for socio-economic rights violations. This model is specifically designed to adhere to the remedial norms for public law remedies and to mitigate against concerns relating to the separation of powers doctrine, democratic legitimacy of the judiciary and institutional capacity of the courts – concerns traditionally associated with socio-economic rights adjudication.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die verwesenliking van sosio-ekonomiese regte vir die armste en mees weerlose lede van ons samelewing is van kardinale belang vir die sukses van Suid-Afrika se transformatiewe grondwetlikheidsprojek. Dit is dus belangrik dat howe effektiewe regshulp verleen in gevalle waar menseregte geskend word. Hierdie tesis poog om vas te stel of die strukturele interdik as remedie in die Suid-Afrikaanse konstitusionele reg as effektiewe regshulp vir die skending van sosio-ekonomiese regte beskou kan word. Hierdie tesis sal eerstens vasstel wat met die geregtelik erkende konsep van effektiewe regshulp bedoel word. Dit sal gedoen word deur die ontwikkeling van ʼn evalueringsraamwerk wat gebruik moet word om beide remedies te ontwerp en te evalueer in gevalle waar menseregte geskend is. Hierdie raamwerk bestaan uit sekere remediërende norme waaraan publiekregtelike remedies moet voldoen, soos geïdentifiseer in Susan Sturm se uitsonderlike akademiese bydrae, sowel as meer konkrete faktore wat oorweeg moet word tydens die remediërende ontwerpsfase. Die norme sluit in deelname, respek vir die skeiding van magte leerstuk, onpartydigheid, beredeneerde besluitneming en remediëring. Die faktore wat oorweeg moet word sluit in die aard van die betrokke reg en die aard van die skending, uiteenlopende belange, die rede vir die skending, praktiese bekommernisse, en die voorkomende effek van die regshulp. Die tweede gedeelte van hierdie tesis poog om vas te stel of die strukturele interdik as effektiewe regshulp geag kan word. Hierdie tesis argumenteer dat dit wel as sodanig geag kan word, en dat hierdie remedie veral potensiaal inhou om sistemiese regskendings te remediëer. Die strukturele interdik sal egter net as ‘n effektiewe regshulp geag kan word indien uiteenlopende belanghebbendes tydens die remediërende ontwerpsfase deelgeneem het en indien die hof toesighoudende jurisdiksie oor die saak behou het. Hierdie tesis stel laastens ‘n deelnemende strukturele interdik model voor wat verleen kan word in sake waar sosio-ekonomiese regte geskend is. Hierdie model is spesifiek ontwerp om te voldoen aan die remediërende norme vir publiekregtelike remedies en ook om die bekommernisse wat tradisioneel geassosieer word met die beregting van sosio-ekonomiese regte te versag. Hierdie bekommernisse sluit in die skeiding van magte leerstuk, die demokratiese legitimiteit van die regsbank, en die institusionele vermoëns van die howe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102777
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