Lessons learned for the future of public law: legislative responses to the challenge of insufficient data on water service delivery in South African cities

International Law recognized water as a human right more than ten years ago, and in countries like South Africa a constitutionally recognized right to water exists. Globally, safely managed water services are vital for human health during disease outbreaks such as COVID-19. To respond adequately to the pandemic and to fulfil their water services mandate, cities require information on who has access to water services, and the quality and safety of the water sources, etc. The sudden emphasis on the need for increased information compounded South African cities’ extant data challenge. This paper investigates existing legal responses to the challenge of insufficient data on water service delivery in cities. Important lessons are extrapolated for the future of public law. The paper proposes that, due to the unique position of cities concerning the provision of water services, and the need for complete and reliable data, the law should emphasise cities’ role in the collection of data.

THE HUMAN RIGHT TO BASIC SANITATION AND MULTILEVEL FEDERALISM IN BRAZIL: An analysis of the new legal framework for sanitation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6

The issue of basic sanitation gains space among Human Rights, as there are still billions of people in the world who live in unacceptable sanitary conditions. This situation was aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the difficulty of accessing these services facilitates the spread of the virus. In Brazil, the water issue is protected by a set of international, constitutional and infraconstitutional rules, constituting a multilevel regulatory system, structured in a network of independent authorities. This scenario requires a renewed hermeneutical effort on the part of the applicators, to make the exercise of such competences efficient and, thus, achieve the availability of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6, Agenda 2030). Therefore, the research problem is to verify whether multilevel federalism, seen from the perspective of combined reading and more beneficial to human beings by internal and international standards, is the most effective way to achieve the SDG 6.

RIGHT TO ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY: AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE

Electricity is critical for the human race’s overall growth. India has the world’s largest electricity deficit of 270 million people, around 1/3rd of the global deficit, and a significant number of citizens are affected by inadequate power supply. Literature suggests that, there is a clear link between access to electricity and achieving all the goals envisioned under Sustainable Development Goals. A country, whose energy demand is expected to rise exponentially by 2040, must approach the issue of access to electricity judiciously.
As a major player in the energy industry, India’s position in promoting universal access to electricity through a rights-based approach will be critical for the jurisprudential advancement of Energy Law as an academic discipline. The paper will critically examine judicial pronouncements from India’s Constitutional Courts and Tribunals concerned. A critical review of institutional and regulatory norms relating to access to electricity will also be conducted.