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“Dreams and aspirations deferred?”: The Constitutional Court’s approach to the fulfilment of socio-economic rights in the Constitution

Justice Steven Majiedt


The Dean’s Distinguished Lectures were initiated in 2015, with the following judges as speakers: Dikgang Moseneke (2015), Navi Pillay (2016), Edwin  Cameron (2017), Bernard Ngoepe (2018) and Mahomed Navsa (2019). The onslaught of COVID-19 brought with it a temporary interruption to the Dean’s  Distinguished Lectures. Justice Steven Majiedt, who presented the lecture in 2022, obtained the BA (law) and LLB degree from UWC in 1981 and 1983  respectively. In his lecture, Justice Majiedt emphasised the important role played by the Constitutional Court as apex court in giving effect to the  fulfilment of socioeconomic rights. The deferential path adopted by the court when adjudicating socioeconomic rights issues was highlighted with  reference to a reluctance to define minimum core obligations and an abiding recognition of the duty imposed upon the state in the progressive  realisation of such rights that has been subsumed in the principle of reasonableness.