Social rights in times of economic crisis: the role of the courts

Crisis is the word to sum up the present situation in Western constitutional discourse. The co-causality is unconcealed: economic problems are products and producers, at the same time, of constitutional problems experienced. The project of constituent social democracy became the focus of reforms; the prediction of social rights and guarantees came under heavy attack. Other reasons that corroborate as much or more with the blunder in the public accounts – as for example, the increase of the public expenses – were not attacked (with the same intensity). Given this scenario, the Courts plays a relevant role in safeguarding social and economic rights. Nowadays, there is a strong aversion to judicial protagonism, moreover in issues that borders of Law and politics. However, this distaste position cannot serve as an excuse to the absence of the implementation of economic and social rights. The challenge is to think ways to do it without nurturing a robust model of judicial review.