Research event

Engagement between legal orders in the context of socio-economic rights

A presentation by Aristi Volou (Hertie School). This event is part of the Fundamental Rights Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights.

The international protection of socio-economic rights is subject to many weaknesses, which are built into the very structure of that protection. These weaknesses impact upon all elements of protection, namely, the personal and material scope of protection, the content of, and (permissible) limitations to, protection, as well as the enforcement of rights. Thus, they decrease the overall effectiveness of the protection of socio-economic rights.

Against this background, this presentation examines the role of engagement between legal orders in this context. Engagement between legal orders is said to take place when bodies which are tasked with interpreting, enforcing and/or applying the law consider legal instruments and/or jurisprudence which do not belong to their ‘own’ ‘jurisdictions’.

More precisely, this presentation examines the extent and dynamics of engagement in the context of the international protection of socio-economic rights. It shows that engagement between legal orders takes place in this context, with varying forms, degrees of formality and dimensions. Most importantly, the role of engagement as a tool to address or mitigate structural weaknesses in the international protection of socio-economic rights is examined. As this presentation shows, engagement between legal orders has proved to be an effective tool to address or mitigate weaknesses related to all aspects of protection, and has contributed to improving the international protection of socioeconomic rights.

Aristi Volou is as a Research Associate at Hertie School’s Centre for Fundamental Rights, working on the CIVICA research project Leading Cases in UN Human Rights Law. Her research interests lie in the fields of human rights and comparative law. She was recently awarded her PhD in International and Comparative Human Rights Law from the University of Leicester, where she also worked as a Research Assistant on several projects and Teaching Assistant and held various administrative positions. Volou completed a traineeship at the European Court of Human Rights, was a Lecturer in Law at BPP University in London, and acted as a volunteer at Just Fair.