Implementing a Circle of Accountability: A Framework for Judiciaries in Enforcing Health-Related Rights

Journal of Human Rights, 14(3), 312-331 (2015)

Posted: 30 Mar 2021

See all articles by Alicia Ely Yamin

Alicia Ely Yamin

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics; Harvard University - Harvard Law School; Partners in Health; Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) - Center on Law and Social Transformation

Fiona Lander

Harvard University

Date Written: June 4, 2015

Abstract

As more states incorporate health-related rights into their national constitutions, judges are increasingly being asked to enforce access to entitlements as well as to regulate the conduct of executive branches in relation to health. Decisions made by judicial bodies in the context of health rights litigation have far-reaching consequences, not only directly on litigants but also often indirectly on the broader population. This article argues that remedies should not be appended to broken health systems. For a meaningful “circle of accountability,” legal opportunity structures that inhibit access to justice must be considered alongside the framing of rights during adjudication, as well as procedural protections for litigants, in addition to the role of the judiciary in monitoring and enforcement of decisions post-judgment. The application of a reflective, purposive approach at each of these points in the judicial process has significant potential to enhance the impact of judicialization of health rights, in terms of equity and accountability within health systems, and beyond. But access to justice and the ability to enforce judgments must also be contemplated by political actors from the beginning of the policy cycle.

Suggested Citation

Yamin, Alicia Ely and Lander, Fiona, Implementing a Circle of Accountability: A Framework for Judiciaries in Enforcing Health-Related Rights (June 4, 2015). Journal of Human Rights, 14(3), 312-331 (2015), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3795591

Alicia Ely Yamin (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics ( email )

23 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02155
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Partners in Health ( email )

641 Huntington Ave, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) - Center on Law and Social Transformation ( email )

PO Box 6033 Postterminalen
Bergen, NO-5892
Norway

Fiona Lander

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
10
PlumX Metrics