Access to justice: human rights abuses involving corporations – South Africa

Access to legal remedies and justice has become a crucial element in today’s work of protecting human rights in the context of business activities. It is also an area of primary importance for judges and lawyers who work promoting the rule of law and human rights. The South African legal system has considerable potential to ground liability and provide remedies for a wide range of possible violations of victims’ rights. There is room for considerable development and re-interpretation. This potential is not wholly realised in practice. The key constraint is the very limited access to legal resources that victims have. The key factors affecting the extent to which the potential of the system is realised depend on responses to this constraint. The most notable factors are the interpretative approach of the courts, the current lack of clarity in certain substantive areas of the law, the extent to which victims are connected to competent representatives, and the extent to which a speedy and cheap remedial mechanism is available.

South Africa-access to justice corporations-thematic report-2010 (full text, PDF)

Thematic reports