Economic and Social Rights and the Law: A Democratic Audit

Katie Boyle

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


    This book examines the status of economic and social rights in the UK. The status of such rights as legally binding rights has historically been contested in the UK constitutional framework and the international legally binding nature of the rights has not been translated into domestic protection. The book explores the status of the rights as justiciable rights under the rubric of other legal mechanisms – such as through equality legislation or the broad interpretation of civil and political rights. This analysis reveals that ESR are currently adjudicated upon (rendering them justiciable) in a positivist application of the law under the sui generis nature of the UK constitutional framework and each of its devolved regions in accordance with the rule of law. The positive application of the law means that the rights are justiciable if application of the law renders them so. By conducting a ‘democratic audit’ of the rights in each of the jurisdictions we can see that socio-economic rights are protected to different degrees in different jurisdictions. This contribution reframes and re-conceptualises the way in which rights are protected in the UK domestic framework. This comes at a significant time when the future of human rights and their constitutional status is undergoing change at the national and regional level, including in relation to the UK exiting the EU legal framework and the potential Bill of Rights proposals at the UK level. The book engages with deliberative democracy theory at the micro and macro level in relation to the status of rights and their means of implementation during periods of contested constitutional transition.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherRoutledge: Taylor & Francis Group
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 May 2018

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