An anatomy and analysis of urban housing-rights litigation

An anatomy and analysis of urban housing-rights litigation

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Date(s) - Wed - 15 Aug
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Dear friends of the UFC,

Please join the Marius Pieterse’s Seminar presentation entitled, An anatomy and analysis of urban housing-rights litigation, Hosted by DUT’s Urban Futures Centre.


PRESENTER: Marius Pieterse
TOPIC: An anatomy and analysis of urban housing-rights litigation
DATE: Wednesday, 15th August 2018
TIME: 1 – 2:30pm
VENUE: Steve Biko Campus – DUT, UFC offices, S2 Block, Level 4, Room DP4.01B (UFC
Common Room). Entrance Gate 1 & 2. 79 Steve Biko Road


Abstract:  Over the last ten years, several high-profile court cases, invoking the right of access to adequate housing in section 26 of the 1996 Constitution, have been brought against South African cities. These have arisen mostly from one of two scenarios: the eviction of poor, “illegal” inhabitants from inner-city buildings; or the relocation of poor inhabitants from informal settlements. This presentation analyses the argument and judgments in a cross section of these cases and considers the legal framework that has emerged from the judgments. The focus is, first, on the Constitutional Court’s understanding of the entitlements embodied by the housing right, secondly, on the factors that impact on and constrain the manner in which it judges housing matters and, thirdly, on the way in which the Court has attempted to balance the competing interests involved in these cases while preserving for government a margin of discretion within which to govern cities and pursue legitimate policy objectives

Bio: Marius Pieterse is a professor of law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he teaches constitutional law and human rights law. His research focuses on the relationship between urban governance, constitutional law and the enforcement of human rights through litigation. Marius is the author of Rights-based Litigation, Urban Governance and Social Justice in South Africa: The Right to Joburg (Routledge, 2017); Can Rights Cure? The Impact of Human Rights Litigation on South Africa’s Health System (Pretoria University Law Press, 2014) as well as more than 60 peer reviewed academic journal articles on different aspects of socio-economic rights, the right to health, the right to equality and urban governance.

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