Case Study

Argentina: Enforcing a Legal Victory for Universal Access to Education

June 2016 | by Fernando Basch, Professor of Law at the University of Palermo and the University of San Andrés and a partner at Governance Latam

Public interest litigation can be a powerful tool for holding governments to account. Yet ensuring lasting change in government policies and actions often requires more than a win in the courtroom. This case study recounts the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ) campaign in Argentina to push the City of Buenos Aires to comply with its legal obligation to provide free public education to children between the ages of 45 days and five years. While the campaign is ongoing, ACIJ has already managed to secure more places for students, better spending on infrastructure, and a new system of online enrollment.

The success of ACIJ’s campaign hinged on its ability to adapt to a dynamic political environment, changing tactics where appropriate. Responding to a breakdown in the formal mechanisms for monitoring government compliance, the ACIJ lobbied both the executive and the legislature, took further legal action, and mobilized public support through the media and other advocacy efforts.




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