The Interdependence of Rights: Protecting the Human Right to Housing by Promoting the Right to Counsel

45 Pages Posted: 21 May 2014 Last revised: 7 May 2015

See all articles by Risa Kaufman

Risa Kaufman

Center for Reproductive Rights; Columbia University - Law School

Martha F. Davis

Northeastern University - School of Law

Heidi Wegleitner

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

Date Written: May 1, 2014

Abstract

This Article trains the lens of international human rights to explicate the relationship between the right to counsel in civil cases and a right to housing. A strength of the human rights framework is its recognition of the interrelationship of rights: civil, political, economic, social and cultural. Just as the right to housing is a lynchpin to the realization of other rights, so, too, is the right to counsel. This article first sets forth the international human rights framework for understanding the U.S.’s obligation to provide a civil right to counsel when basic human needs, including housing, are at stake. It then offers client stories from a legal services organization in Wisconsin, alongside quantitative research, as a way to better understand the impact that legal counsel has on individuals’ ability to secure and protect their housing, and, finally, discusses the implications of advocacy efforts to link a housing rights strategy to efforts to secure the civil right to counsel.

Keywords: human rights, right to counsel, right to housing

Suggested Citation

Kaufman, Risa and Davis, Martha F. and Wegleitner, Heidi, The Interdependence of Rights: Protecting the Human Right to Housing by Promoting the Right to Counsel (May 1, 2014). Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 3, p. 772-815 (2014); Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 185-2014; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-397. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2438966

Risa Kaufman (Contact Author)

Center for Reproductive Rights

120 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
United States

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Martha F. Davis

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Heidi Wegleitner

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. ( email )

230 W Wells St
#800
Milwaukee, WI 53203
United States

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