Making Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Meaningful

29 Mar 2017

"constitutional law has rarely benefited the less-well-off and rather has been used to limit rather than expand existing rights."

On 29th March 2017 the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Initiative (ESCRI) ran a conference entitled Making Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Meaningful in the Oak Room of Dublin’s Mansion House. The ESCRI is a coalition of over 60 civil society organisations, including the INOU, that support strengthening the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the Irish Constitution.


ESC Rights Initiative

This event brought together a range of stakeholders to explore how enforceable ESC rights would impact on individuals and groups in Ireland; draw on experiences from other States where ESC rights have been given legal protection; and, examine the potential and limits of policies, procedures and protections in Ireland. The conference was funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Grant Scheme 2016-2017. The keynote address was given by Jamie Burton, a Public Lawyer with Doughty Street Chambers in London; and the panellists included activists; practitioners; and academics.

The on-going debate on the separation of powers and the challenges it presents were noted: whereby many in the politicial system appear unsupportive of a strenghtening of these rights constitutionally, as they perceive it as their role as policy makers and legislators to decide how a state’s resources are created, appropriated and redistributed, and not a role for the judicial system.

ESC Rights Initiative Mansion House March 29 2017 groups of participants with logo