In December of 2014, the Equal Rights Trust, which is an independent organisation dedicated to promoting equality, released a publication on advancing Economic and Social Rights (ESRs). This substantial report, titled: Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A litigator’s guide to using equality and non-discrimination to advance economic and social rights (ESRs), was compiled by a team of experts over a period of three years. The report begins with an acknowledgement that ESRs have some way to go before they are fully realised. The publication seeks to contribute to this goal however, through highlighting conceptual tools used in discrimination cases, as potential avenues for advancing the realisation of ESRs. In so doing, the guide serves to assist litigators seeking to pursue this strategy.
The guide comprises three parts. The first part introduces the rights framework upon which the guide is predicated and specifically acknowledges the interdependency of all human rights. The second part then identifies the conceptual and practical reasons as to why equality should be utilised to strengthen arguments for the realisation of ESRs. This section therefore examines the conceptual links between equality and the ESRs, as well as the immediate obligation to ensure equality and how it can strengthen the enforcement of ESRs. The third part of the report then sets out an eight stage process to practically guide the litigation process. The report is therefore an invaluable resource for both practitioners and researchers working within the field of socio-economic rights. To read the full report click here.