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Constitutional Rights and Social Exclusion in Nepal

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In Nepal, poverty is highly correlated with an individual's ethnicity, caste, language, religion or membership in an indigenous group. In the drafting of the new Constitution, many have called for inclusion of socio-economic and affirmative action rights in order to address social inequalities. This article sets out to assess these demands in an international and domestic context. After this socio-political background is set out in the introduction, section 2 provides a comparative and international analysis of the debates, trends and jurisprudence concerning the constitutional inclusion of equality and socio-economic rights. Section 3 examines the constitutional history of Nepal on this topic with a particular focus on the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, and section 4 assesses the consequences of this experience for the constitutional drafting process. Section 5 analyses the current draft bill of rights and provides some thoughts on the possible future directions for the constitutional drafting and jurisprudential responses.

Affiliations: 1: Research Fellow, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway; 2: Judge, Court of Appeal, Patan, Nepal


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