Social Rights Adjudication in Time of Economic Crisis and Institutional Interdependence

We are witnessing a deep transformation of our constitutional systems: the uncontestable crisis of the social democratic states goes hand in hand with the affirmation of a new global, supranational, transnational, multilevel constitutional order characterized, on one side, by a growing interdependence among national states and on the other side by the shift of authoritative power from national states to international actors and financial institutions.
This capture of power by these new actors has been evident during the economic crisis, which challenged the social rights protection standard in many countries. My argument is that during the economic crisis we witnessed a predominant role of courts in social rights adjudication, but this phenomenon should not to be read within the classical understanding of judicial activism: instead, it has to be considered as an intervention aimed to “restore” an imbalance within the separation of powers that occurred during the economic crisis.