Demanda de inconstitucionalidad por omisión de la Asamblea Nacional al promulgar la Ley Orgánica de Seguridad Social. [ENG]

Constitutionality action alleging failure to protect and fulfill right to social security, workers' rights and principle of progressiveness. Court order requiring Asamblea Nacional (Parliament) to remedy failure and to pass unemployment benefit scheme.

Date of the Ruling: 
May 31 2004
Supreme Court of Venezuela, Constitutional Division
Type of Forum: 

Provea requested the Supreme Court of Venezuela (TSJ) to issue its opinion on the constitutionality of the failure by Asamblea Nacional (AN, Parliament) to create a temporary system to regulate the Employment Benefits Scheme when it had passed the Social Security System Law. This failure implied denying benefits to employees suspended or fired. Provea alleged there had been a violation of the rights to social security, workers' protection and the principle of progressiveness regarding fundamental rights under the Constitution and international human rights conventions. The TSJ found the AN's failure to be unconstitutional and ordered it to, within three months, prepare, discuss and pass a law on the matter or, otherwise, create a temporary scheme to remedy the breach of constitutional law found in the social security system. The TSJ adopted an interim measure declaring the previous system in force until the AN issued the new law, considering that, due to the lawmaker's failure, the fundamental right to social security under article 86 of the Constitution was suspended and could not be enjoyed. The Court also stated that the legislative failure implied a violation of international conventions (duly executed by Venezuela) that reflected the right to social security and its essential elements, such as International Labor Organization Convention No. 102 related to “Minimum Social Security Standards”.

Keywords: Demanda de inconstitucionalidad por omisión de la Asamblea Nacional al promulgar la Ley Orgánica de Seguridad Social, Labor, Right

Enforcement of the Decision and Outcomes: 

With delays, the Asamblea Nacional passed a Special Law regulating an Employment Benefits Scheme, in which benefits for forced discontinuation under unemployment conditions are also considered. The new law was passed on August 29, 2005 and published in the official bulletin No. 38281 on September 27, 2005. (Source: Organización Programa Venezolano de Educación Acción en Derechos Humanos, Provea)

Groups involved in the case: 

Petitioners: Organización Programa Venezolano de Educación Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea) (

Significance of the Case: 

This case shows the willingness of the Judiciary to question the Legislative Power's failures affecting economic and social rights, including, in this particular case, the right to work. In general, courts are reluctant to declare the unconstitutionality of failures by the legislative power. That is why this case has significant value.