The Use of Constitutional Obligations to Budget for Socio-economic Rights in Public Interest Litigation and Advocacy
(11:00 to 12:45; Thursday, 24 July 2014)
This panel will be framed in the context of recent judicial decisions on the varying responsibilities of different spheres of government to budget for the realisation of socio-economic rights. Are provinces accountable to national government with respect to budgeting for the fulfillment of priorities in terms of national government’s socio-economic rights policies? The panel will dicuss the Blue Moonlight and Basic Education For All judgments and their significance to the developing jurisprudence on the government’s constitutional obligation to budget for socio-economic rights. Do the government’s responsbilities vary from rights which explicitly require the state to take reasonable measures “within available resources” and the right to basic education which does not include this proviso?
The panel will discuss the use of budget analysis in strategic public interest litigation and human rights advocacy more broadly. Drawing on both South African and international examples the panel will draw lessons from recent cases where budget analysis has been used as evidence to bolster cases in which the provision of service delivery has been impacted on by poor public budgetary decision-making and implementation.