Caselaw Database - All Cases

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

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.

Petitioner, 69-year old Hernando de Jesus Blanco Angarita, filed a tutela action before the Constitutional Court after the First Civil Municipal Court of Bogota found that the National Social Security Fund had not violated his constitutional rights by delaying the transfer of his deceased wife’s pension. The Constitutional Court reversed the First Civil Municipal Court and held that there had been a violation of rights recognized both in the Colombian Constitution and international law.

UK Supreme Court Upholds Jurisdiction over UK Parent Company in Connection with Zambian Subsidiary Misconduct

The claimants in this action are 1,826 citizens of Zambia from four different communities in the Chingola District. The claimants allege harms to their health and ability to farm due to pollution of their sole water source from activities at the Nchanga Copper Mine. The defendants are Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), owner and operator of the mine, and Vedanta Resources PLC (Vedanta), ultimate UK parent company of KCM.

South African Constitutional Court Protects Informal Land Rights Threatened by Mining Activities

The Lesetlheng community applicants brought this case before the Constitutional Court of South Africa on appeal from a High Court order evicting them from their farm. The Lesetlheng community is a subset of the larger Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela community. The Lesetlheng communities’ ancestors purchased the farm in question in 1919, but owing to the racially discriminatory laws at the time, the ownership of the farm could not be transferred to the Lesetlheng community.

In 1998, Congress approved Amendment 20 to the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988, thereby altering the country’s social security system. The amendment imposed a ceiling of R$1200 on social security benefits per beneficiary. On its face, the R$1200 maximum purported to apply neutrally to several benefits categories, including with respect to pregnancy-related leave.

Landmark Ruling Restricts Immunity of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group

At the founding of international organizations like the IFC, United Nations, and International Monetary Fund at the close of World War II, the U.S. Congress passed the International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945 that granted these international organizations the "same immunity from suit . . . as is enjoyed by foreign governments,” although organizations could limit or expand immunity in their charters. From 1945-1952, courts followed the Department of State view that because foreign governments had absolute immunity, so should the international organizations.

Ugandan High Court Orders Structural Reforms to Guard against Forced Evictions

Five applicants filed this case in 2016, seeking: a declaration that the lack of adequate procedures governing evictions violates the rights to life, dignity, and property under articles 22, 24, and 26 of the Constitution, as well as state obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); an order compelling the government to develop comprehensive guidelines to govern land evictions; and an order seeking to recover costs of the lawsuit.

This case concerns the Ratlam municipality’s obligations to its people under Section 123 M. P. Municipalities Act of 1961. These obligations include the provision of sanitary facilities and the prevention of street contamination from a nearby alcohol plant. The residents of the Ratlam municipality, frustrated at the lack of sanitary facilities and the contamination in the streets, brought suit against the municipality under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code for public nuisance.