Stephen Gardbaum is the MacArthur Foundation Professor of International Justice and Human Rights at UCLA School of Law. He is currently a Fellow at New York University Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice and was the 20112 Guggenheim Fellow in constitutional studies. An internationally recognized constitutional scholar, his research focuses on comparative constitutional law, constitutional theory, and federalism. Having previously identified 'the new Commonwealth model of constitutionalism' as a novel general approach to bills of rights, he was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Protecting Human Rights conference in Australia, part of the major debate in that country about adopting this model through a national human rights act. Other recent work includes a series of articles on the comparative structure of constitutional rights, which have just been collected and published as a book by the European Research Center of Comparative Law. His scholarship has been cited by the US and Canadian Supreme Courts and widely translated.
Under "strong-form" judicial review, as in the United States, judicial interpretations of the constitution are binding on other branches of government. In contrast, "weak-form" review allows the legislature and executive to reject constitutional rulings by the judiciary--as long as they do so publicly. Tushnet describes how weak-form review works in Great Britain and Canada and discusses the extent to which legislatures can be expected to enforce constitutional norms on their own. With that background, he turns to social welfare rights, explaining the connection between the "state action" or "horizontal effect" doctrine and the enforcement of social welfare rights. Tushnet then draws together the analysis of weak-form review and that of social welfare rights, explaining how weak-form review could be used to enforce those rights. He demonstrates that there is a clear judicial path--not an insurmountable judicial hurdle--to better enforcement of constitutional social welfare rights.