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e-Pública: Revista Eletrónica de Direito Público

On-line version ISSN 2183-184X


TUSHNET, Mark. Social and Economic Rights: Historical Origins and Contemporary Issues. e-Pública [online]. 2014, vol.1, n.3, pp.08-18. ISSN 2183-184X.

By the late nineteenth century three streams flowed together and became embedded in a discourse of constitutionalism: socialist ideas of economic redistribution, Bismarck's programs of social welfare and the Catholic Church's social teachings. These streams remained important in the early twentieth century and eventually led to the embedding of social and economic rights in constitutions throughout the twentieth century, furthering the connection between individual rights - now including social and economic rights - and judicial enforcement of rights. In our time attention has turned from the question of whether courts should enforce social and economic rights to the question of how they should do it. In this context the most pressing issue is the development of a coherent overall system of judicial intervention. Finally, it is argued that social and economic rights on the one hand and the doctrines of horizontal effect and unconstitutionality by omission or state of unconstitutionality on the other are concepts conceptually connected.

Keywords : social and economic rights; judicial enforcement; horizontal effect of rights; unconstitutionality by omission; constitutional law and private law.

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