The Bhisho High Court ruled in the case of Equal Education v Minister of Basic Education (the “Equal Education” case) that several sections of the Regulations Relating to Minimum Norms and Standards for Public School infrastructure to be inconsistent with the Constitution and the Schools Act and therefore unlawful and invalid. It is hopeful to be regulated for improving the school infrastructure in South Africa’s under-resourced schools. The significant of the judgement is the jurisprudential impact that can be used by civil society advocates leveraging the transformative potential of the unqualified right to basic education which is instated under the Constitution.
On 5 June 2008, the European Court of Human Rights handed down the judgement in the case of Sampanis and Others v. Greece. 11 Greek nationals of Roma origin claimed discrimination in violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (right to education) and of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) in respect of the treatment of their children by the educational authorities in Aspropyrgos, Greece. The applicants were refused permission to enroll their children in local primary schools. Subsequently, from the first day of school, the applicants' children faced protests, requiring police intervention, from parents of the non-Roma children who blockaded the school. The Court concluded that the conditions of school enrolment for those children and their placement in special preparatory classes resulted in discrimination against them and constituted a violation of Article 14 of the Convention taken together with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 in respect of each of the applicants.
The Supreme Court in the case of Mohini Jain and Unnikrishnan vs state of Andhra Pradesh ruled that the right to education is a fundamental right that flows from the Right to life in article 21 under Indian constitution. 1997, Constitutional Amendment for making education as a fundamental right was introduced.
In the case of Ola Jasim, The Edinburgh Session Court, ruled that, students from Scottish migrant families have the same right to free tuition as their peers following a landmark court ruling that legal experts say highlights the positive impact of human rights legislation. The Court found that Iraqi-born Ola Jasim, who has lived in Scotland for nine years but missed the criteria for free tuition by 58 days, had her human rights violated.
Scarlett Finney v Hills Grammar School, The landmark case , secured the right of school children with physical disability to access education. PIAC’s client, six-year-old Scarlett Finney, was rejected for enrolment at Hills Grammar School in 1997 because of her disability, spina bifida. Her family made a complaint of unlawful discrimination on her behalf and PIAC acted for the family in a lengthy hearing before the then Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) – now the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Tape v. Hurley: (1885) is one the most important civil rights decisions in history. The parents of American-born Mamie Tape successfully challenged a principal’s refusal to enrol their daughter and other children of Chinese heritage into the Spring Valley Primary School in San Francisco, California, seven decades before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. Joseph and Mary Tape had both emigrated from China to the United States as children. After marrying in 1875, Joseph established himself as a well-regarded businessman in both the white and Chinese communities. The prosperous middle-class Chinese American family settled in the Cow Hollow neighbourhood of San Francisco, which at the time had few Chinese residents. The Tapes’ rise as young immigrants to the middle-class was at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and even violence ran high in California and across the country. Many Americans, particularly those in West Coast states, blamed Chinese workers for lower wages and economic hardship. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act which prohibited Chinese immigration for a 10-year period and prevented all Chinese from becoming naturalized citizens.