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Taking ‘Health’ as a Socio-Economic Right Seriously: Is the South African Constitutional Dialogue a Remedy for the American Healthcare System?

Taking ‘Health’ as a Socio-Economic Right Seriously: Is the South African Constitutional Dialogue... SABRINA GERMAIN I. INTRODUCTION The year 1996 marked the beginning of a new era for South Africa. After a long struggle to free itself from the apartheid regime, it had successfully drafted `the most admirable constitution in the history of the world'.1 Nonetheless, everything still had to be done to reconcile the social and economic fracture that was tearing apart the country. This document had to provide continual reinvention to make sense of a changing world and the new South Africa.2 The answers provided by the Constitution had to be more than `admirable', they had to be `transformative'. Indeed, unlike most liberal constitutions, the primary concern was not to restrain State power, but to accelerate fundamental changes in a legacy of injustice resulting from over three centuries of colonial and apartheid rule.3 It soon became obvious to the drafters that without access to basic levels of social and economic services, no effective civil or political changes could take place in the deeply divided country. Hence, the final document incorporates a detailed list of socio-economic rights tailored to the peculiar needs and context of South Africa.4 Nonetheless, concerns were then raised with regard to a blurry separation of powers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Taking ‘Health’ as a Socio-Economic Right Seriously: Is the South African Constitutional Dialogue a Remedy for the American Healthcare System?

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2013
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2013.0057
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SABRINA GERMAIN I. INTRODUCTION The year 1996 marked the beginning of a new era for South Africa. After a long struggle to free itself from the apartheid regime, it had successfully drafted `the most admirable constitution in the history of the world'.1 Nonetheless, everything still had to be done to reconcile the social and economic fracture that was tearing apart the country. This document had to provide continual reinvention to make sense of a changing world and the new South Africa.2 The answers provided by the Constitution had to be more than `admirable', they had to be `transformative'. Indeed, unlike most liberal constitutions, the primary concern was not to restrain State power, but to accelerate fundamental changes in a legacy of injustice resulting from over three centuries of colonial and apartheid rule.3 It soon became obvious to the drafters that without access to basic levels of social and economic services, no effective civil or political changes could take place in the deeply divided country. Hence, the final document incorporates a detailed list of socio-economic rights tailored to the peculiar needs and context of South Africa.4 Nonetheless, concerns were then raised with regard to a blurry separation of powers

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2013

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