Public Interest Litigation in South Africa

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Public Interest Litigation in South Africa offers a collection of grounded accounts – by leaders in the field – of the campaigns, cases, and causes that have defined key areas of public interest litigation in the country since the constitutional transition. The authors share their perspectives on the struggles led by people, communities, activists, and civil society organisations to realise the vision of the Constitution. This volume captures the legal narratives of those particular struggles in the hope that this will contribute to the broader, ongoing struggle for social justice.

Part One of the book considers general themes relating to public interest litigation. These include its history, the development of the public interest sector and the impact and value of public interest litigation; the role of international law in public interest litigation; the ethics and politics of public interest litigation; and constitutional procedure. Part Two addresses public interest litigation in ten key areas of law: property rights, gender, basic services, health care, LGBTI equality, children’s rights, basic education, freedom of expression, access to information, and prisoners’ rights.

Public Interest Litigation in South Africa seeks to share some of what has been achieved in the courts, beyond the well-trodden landmark appellate decisions, as a contribution to informed and critical engagement with litigation as a tool for social change.

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