This chapter looks at the Court’s extensive jurisprudence on social rights. The Colombian Constitution of 1991 contains a long list of social rights, however it was initially unclear to what extent they were justiciable. The Constitutional Court quickly established that they could be litigated in many circumstances, and has since developed case law reaching across many different domains. This chapter considers, for example, the Court interventions in the rights to health, housing, and water. It also reviews the Court’s response to the economic crisis of the late 1990s, in which it weighed the need for austerity against the rights of homeowners and civil servants. Finally, it looks at the Court’s major structural injunctions and ongoing supervision on certain large-scale public problems, including the rights of internally displaced persons and the structure of the healthcare system.
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