Caselaw Database - All Cases

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

This case was brought as an abstract review[1] by the Abahlali BaseMjondolo Movement (Abahlali), a voluntary association which acts in the interests of several thousand people living in informal dwellings in South Africa. Abahlali argued that section 16 of the KwaZulu-Natal Elimination and Prevention of Re-emergence of Slums Act ("the Slums Act"), which authorized provincial government officials to issue a notice directing that eviction proceedings be instituted by owners and local municipalities against informal settlements, was unconstitutional.

The case was brought by two women who had borrowed minimal sums of money (about 27 and 35 US dollars respectively), had been charged significant interest and fell behind on their payments. This led to the sale and execution of their houses. The applicants argued that legislation permitting the sale in execution of people's homes due to non-payment of trifling debts removed their security of tenure and violated their right to access to adequate housing recognized in section 26 of the Constitution. The law in question was sections 66(1)(a) and 67 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 32 of 1944.

The South African Constitutional Court was asked to decide whether tenants of a block of flats were entitled to notice before the municipal electricity utility, City Power, disconnected their supply. The tenants paid for their electricity to the owner of the property, and despite their regular payment, the owner allowed substantial arrears to run up on the account, and City Power disconnected the property, giving the owner, but not the tenants, notice.

Approximately 20,000 occupiers of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town appealed to the Constitutional Court to set aside an order for their eviction granted by the High Court. The eviction had been sought by the National and Provincial Ministers of Housing and a housing company contracted to implement a development of formal housing for low-income families at the site of the informal settlement. While the housing company tendered that they would provide temporary accommodation for the occupiers in Delft, 15 kilometres away, no permanent housing was guaranteed.

The decision holds Italy accountable for policies and practices that have resulted in Roma and Sinti residents living in segregated and grossly inadequate housing conditions, as well as forced eviction of entire communities and expulsion of migrant Roma from Italy.  The case also held Italy accountable for the underlying racist and xenophobic climate created in Italy.  The European Committee of Social Rights found that Romani camps have been destroyed and their inhabitants forcibly evicted and often expelled from Italy by state police or other representatives of the public authority, often

In July 2004, a group of residents of the Matanza/Riachuelo basin filed a suit before the Supreme Court of Argentina against the national government, the Province of Buenos Aires, the City of Buenos Aires and 44 companies seeking compensation for damages resulting from pollution of the basin, stoppage of contaminating activities, and remedy for collective environmental damage.

The plaintiffs filed a constitutional claim arguing that Law 115 of 1994 did not comply with international human rights standards by allowing for the option to charge fees on primary education (sect. 183). The Court found the law unenforceable, considering that fees may not be applied to official primary education, but only to secondary and higher education levels.

This case was brought on behalf of Shanti Devi, a women living in poverty from a Scheduled Caste, after she died as the result of being refused adequate maternal healthcare despite the fact that she qualified for the free services under existing state-sponsored schemes. In 2008, Shanti Devi was forced to carry a dead fetus in her womb for five days after being denied medical treatment at several hospitals because her husband was unable to show a valid ration card for medical services, despite being qualified for one as they lived below the poverty line.

Since February 2003, following the emergence of an armed conflict in the Darfur region of the Sudan, militiamen known as Janjaweed have engaged in forcibly evicting, killing, and raping thousands of Black indigenous people in that region.  The complainants alleged these acts were a failure of the government of Sudan to respect and protect the rights of the people of Darfur and in particular violated articles 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12 (1), 14, 16, 18 (1) and 22 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights.  In affirming admissibility of the complaint, the Commission quoted its decisi

The lawsuit was filed in the name of three staff members at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) because the new system threatened the accessibility and affordability of drugs in Egypt, especially the price of generic drugs, which Egyptian citizens rely heavily due to their relative low cost. Previous to this decree, the price of generic drugs was determined on the basis of the actual production cost, plus profit mark-ups.