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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A full loaf is better than half: the constitutional protection of economic, social and cultural rights in Malawi
Author:Chirwa, Danwood MzikengeISNI
Year:2005
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Volume:49
Issue:2
Pages:207-241
Language:English
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:social and economic rights
constitutions
Bill of Rights
1994
External link:http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=4841A58F7134416EC7B4
Abstract:Malawi adopted a new Constitution in 1994, marking the end of a 30-year dictatorial one-party regime. The Constitution breaks with traditional constitutions by recognizing economic, social and cultural rights. However, few of these rights are entrenched in the Bill of Rights as justiciable rights. Those that are include the right to family, the right to education, cultural rights, the right to property, labour rights and the right to economic activity. Significantly, the Constitution also recognizes the right to development. However, key and 'traditional' socioeconomic rights, such as the right to food, water, health, social security and housing, are not recognized. Some of these are not even recognized as principles of national policy. The author discusses the specific socioeconomic rights provisions entrenched in the Malawian Bill of Rights and the jurisprudence they have generated. He argues that while the Malawian Constitution deserves acclaim for recognizing these rights, the model adopted for protecting them fails to give full effect to the notion of the indivisibility of all rights. It is not good enough for a poor country, which is also in transition to democracy. Not only was Malawi's choice of this model not preceded by a careful and reasoned examination of the existing models and the local circumstances, it was also made without wide public consultations. The ways in which the protection of these rights, based on the existing constitutional provisions, can be improved, are explored. Notes, ref., sum. (p. ii). [Journal abstract, edited]
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