Research group IBON Foundation urges the High Court to rule as “self-executory” the Constitutional provisions on economic, social, and cultural rights so that it could decide whether government’s economic policies are violating people’s rights.

IBON research head Sonny Africa registered this proposal at the ongoing Supreme Court Access to Justice by the Poor, saying that the Supreme Court (SC) has prevented itself from subjecting macroeconomic trade, investment, and fiscal policies to judicial review because it treats the relevant Constitutional provisions as “not self-executory” (Simon vs CHR). The SC also unduly defers to the executive and legislature on economic matters (Tañada vs Angara ).

Economic policies have the broadest influence on realizing economic, social and cultural rights, said Africa . Once ruled as self-executory, the courts can then determine if economic policies are unconstitutional and if there are economy-wide violations of these rights. This will also help ensure that the people’s right to food, shelter, and livelihood are realized.

“The most number of people will have the greatest access to justice if state actors can be made responsible in truly upholding these rights,” said Africa .


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