The Nature of Welfare Rights

  • Ivana Tucak


Europe is known for its adherence to the concept of welfare rights and social justice, which represents a major shift from the American perception of human rights. This adherence is reflected in the incorporation of welfare rights into a large number of nati-onal constitutions and regional instruments. Nevertheless, welfa-re rights still represent a controversial topic. The paper primarily deals with the theoretical foundations of these rights. Its purpose is to search for the sources of these rights, enlighten their legal na-ture and stress their special features. The first part of the paper is engaged with the issue of the status of these rights and what they provide to their holders. It attempts to define them and clarify the justification of their introduction into constitutional texts and re-gional conventions. The second part of the paper challenges the arguments against welfare rights. First, the superficial classificati-on and denotation of civil and political rights as negative and wel-fare rights as positive rights is discarded. Although the usefulness of the division into negative and positive rights is today questio-nable itself, the above identification should be deemed particular-ly controversial. The second issue relates to the possibility of their judicial enforcement. If that is possible, despite their vagueness, is there, a difference between the justiciability of welfare and civil and political rights?


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