Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The South African Constitutional Court's application of socio-economic considerations in its interpretation of children's fundamental rights

Debra Horsten.

The South African Constitutional Court has handed down two landmark judgments relating to the socio-economic rights of children, namely Government of the Republic of South Africa v Grootboom (relating to the child's right to shelter) and Minister of Health v Treatment Action Campaign (relating to the child's right to health care, specifically to the right to receive anti-retroviral drugs). In its interpretation of the content of these rights, as constitutionally entrenched fundamental rights, the Court made use of not only the textual but also the contextual method of interpretation, taking into account numerous socio-economic considerations. The object of this paper is to identify these considerations and analyse the Court's use of them in the above cases.


Debra Horsten  (South Africa)
Lecturer in Law
Faculty of Law
Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education

  • Children's fundamental rights
  • Socio-economic considerations

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)