Caselaw Database - All Cases

ESCR-Net Caselaw Database: A database on domestic, regional and international decisions regarding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In 2005, Germany began the fourth stage of a program aimed at reducing the costs of the country’s social welfare system, an initiative named after its chief architect, Volkswagen personnel director, Peter Hartz. Hartz IV merged unemployment and welfare benefits, fixing the standard benefit for single people living in old West German states (including East Berlin) at 345 Euros per month. This amount was determined based on a statistical survey of income and expenditure of lower income groups. Benefits for other household members were determined as a percentage of 345 Euros.

The plaintiff in this case is a man whose unemployment benefits were reduced first by 30% and then by 60% when he declined a proposed employer and later failed to accept a training and trial placement in another role. The man objected to the reductions unsuccessfully, and filed suit in the Social Court. Before rendering a decision, the Social Court stayed the proceedings in order to obtain judicial review from the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) as to whether or not the sanctions scheme in question is in compliance with the Basic Law.

High Court of Uganda Finds Discrepancy in Quality between Public, Government Aided and Public Private Partnership Schools, Vioaltes the Right to Education and Equality

Following the introduction of the Universal Secondary Education (USE) program in 2007 by the Government of Uganda, the program was subsequently implemented in public schools, government grant aided schools, private for profit Public Private Partnership (PPP) schools, and private not for profit PPPs. The Government paid UGX 47,000 per student for those enrolled in PPP schools, as opposed to UGX 230,000 per student enrolled in government aided and public schools.

Yolanda Daniels is a domestic worker and sole head-of-household who resided for 16 years in a farm dwelling.  She began living there when her former husband was employed by the owner.  She and her three children remained in the dwelling with the owner’s consent after the couple divorced. 

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) brought this case against Italy for violating Article 31 and Article E of the Revised European Social Charter in failing to protect the Roma population’s right to housing, as well as systematically discriminating against the Roma community. In 2005, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) reported its decision in the case to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to enforce Italy’s compliance with the judgment.

UN Human Rights Committee Finds Right to Life Violation Due to Massive Crop Fumigation in Paraguay

On January 6, 2011, farmer Ruben Portillo died in transit from a hospital after experiencing severe nausea and fever, allegedly because of his intake of agrochemicals (pesticides and insecticides). Twenty-two other members of Colonia Yeruticreadaen (“Colonia”), in the Curuguaty District of Paraguay, were affected by similar symptoms at the same time.

This case concerns the leasing of tribal lands for mining and industrial purposes.  The State of Andhra Pradesh granted leases to several non-tribal persons to mine tribal lands.  Samatha, a group representing the rights of affected tribal persons, filed a petition in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh arguing that the granting of leases to tribal lands to non-tribal persons for mining purposes violated the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation (1959) and the Forest Conservation Act (1980).  The petition was rejected by the High Court and Samatha subsequently appealed to the

High Court in South Africa Affirms State Duty to Upgrade Informal Settlement

For over 20 years, the City of Johannesburg promised residents that it would upgrade Slovo Park in the face of a lack of electricity, adequate water, sanitation, refuse removal, demarcated roads, and a proneness to fatal shack fires.  The City’s inaction led residents to develop their own upgrading plans in keeping with the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Policy (UISP) contained within the National Housing Code.  Despite residents’ efforts to engage the City on implementing these plans, the City was unresponsive.  Consequently, represented by the

High Court of Botswana Protects Transgender Man’s Right to Have Identity Document Reflect His Gender Identity

ND is a transgender man, and his sex assigned at birth was female. Because the gender marker on ND’s national identity card did not match his expressed gender or gender identity, the refusal of the government to change his gender marker exposed him to ongoing and extreme emotional stress and discomfort.

Inter-American Court Finds Right to Health Violation in the Context of Emergency Medical Services

On January 17, 2001, Vinicio Poblete Vilches was admitted to the Chilean public Hospital Sotero del Rio with severe respiratory failure. He was 76 years old and was sent to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he was in an unconscious state for several days. He underwent surgery, was discharged and readmitted, and died in the hospital on February 7. The principal questions before the Inter-American Court were whether the state violated: 1) the human rights to health and life of Mr.