Legal cases

This collection of cases can provide guidance and inspiration to development practitioners and activists who wish to take the legal route to achieving the equal enjoyment of the right to social security or social protection. Most of these examples also provide insights on how to make a case and formulate arguments by examining the reasoning used by state authorities to limit or deny social protection benefits to specific groups, and the responses from competent legal bodies.

We present here a collection of relevant cases heard in domestic and regional courts, as well as international human rights bodies, in matters relating to social protection. The short summaries and original deliberations included demonstrate that the human right to social protection is increasingly justiciable (suitable for legal action or proceedings) at domestic, regional and international levels, through both constitutional guarantees and legally binding human rights instruments.

The intricate details of these cases can usefully reveal some of the administrative and practical challenges involved in claiming the right to social security or social protection, but ultimately they show how strongly this right is embedded in many legal systems.

The jurisprudence covers domestic, regional, and international case law.

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Social Protection and Human Rights