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Radical Deprivation on Trial


  • 8 b/w illus. 6 tables
  • Page extent: 0 pages

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 (ISBN-13: 9781316405321)

This book is an empirical study of contributions by courts in the Global South to comparative constitutionalism. It offers an analytical framework for understanding these constitutional innovations and illustrates them with a qualitative study of the most ambitious case in constitutional adjudication in Latin America over the last decade: the Colombian Constitutional Court's structural injunction affecting the rights of over five million internally displaced people and its implementation process. Although the ruling (known as T25) was handed down in 2004, its monitoring process continues. This book traces the case's evolution from its origin to its effects on policy, politics and public opinion. It also compares the implementation and effects of T25 with those of other rulings on the rights to health, food, housing, and prison overcrowding in Colombia, India and South Africa. The study's insights will be of interest to scholars of comparative constitutionalism in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

• The first in-depth analysis of a landmark case on socioeconomic rights in the Global South • Goes beyond the typical focus on whether courts should enforce 'second-generation' social and cultural rights to consider how to enforce them • Places rulings in socio-legal context by exploring multiple actors outside the court such as public officials, activists, policy makers, and leaders of internally displaced populations


Part I. Studying Impact: Activist Courts Addressing Radical Deprivation: 1. The impact of judicial activism on socioeconomic rights in the Global South: an analytical framework; 2. The case study: forced internal displacement and the intervention of the Colombian Constitutional Court; Part II. Direct, Indirect, Material, and Symbolic Effects: 3. The unlocking effect: judicial prodding and streamlining the government bureaucracy; 4. The policy effect: design and evaluation of public policies through judicial incentives; 5. The participatory effect: dialogic judicial activism, public deliberation, and problem solving; 6. The reframing effect: forced displacement as a human rights problem; 7. The socioeconomic effect: the impact on the situation of internally displaced persons; Part III. Dialogic Judicial Activism in Comparative Perspective: 8. Explaining impact in comparative constitutionalism: an empirical case for dialogic judicial activism; 9. Conclusions: comparative constitutionalism as institutional imagination.

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