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2001

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Health Law and Policy

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A Constitutional Confluence: American ‘State Action’ Law And The Application Of South Africa’S Socioeconomic Rights Guarantees To Private Actors, Stephen Ellmann Jan 2001

A Constitutional Confluence: American ‘State Action’ Law And The Application Of South Africa’S Socioeconomic Rights Guarantees To Private Actors, Stephen Ellmann

Articles & Chapters

As constitutional protection of human rights expands around the world, the question of whether constitutional rights should protect people not only against state action but also against the conduct of private actors is once again timely. Few nations have so broadly, or so ambiguously, endorsed the application of constitutional guarantees to constrain private conduct (known outside the United States as "horizontality") as South Africa. The constitution approved in 1996 applies fully and without qualification to all "organs of state," and this term is defined in section 239 in potentially very broad terms, notably embracing "any other functionary or institution ... exercising ...