Read e-book online Dignity Rights: Courts, Constitutions, and the Worth of the PDF

Human Rights

By Erin Daly

The correct to dignity is now well-known in many of the world's constitutions, and infrequently a brand new structure is followed with no it. during the last sixty years, courts in Latin the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa, the center East, and North the United States have built a powerful jurisprudence of dignity on matters as assorted as well-being care, imprisonment, privateness, schooling, tradition, the surroundings, sexuality, and dying. because the variety and becoming variety of situations approximately dignity attest, it truly is invoked and well-known by means of courts way more usually than different constitutional guarantees.

Dignity Rights is the 1st ebook to discover the constitutional legislation of dignity world wide. Erin Daly indicates how dignity has come not just to outline particular pursuits just like the correct to humane remedy or to make money salary, but additionally to guard the elemental rights of anyone to regulate his or her personal lifestyles and to stay in society with others. Daly argues that, in the course of the correct to dignity, courts are redefining what it capacity to be human within the sleek global. As defined via the courts, the scope of dignity rights marks the outer barriers of nation strength, restricting country authority to satisfy the calls for of human dignity. hence, those circumstances strength us to reexamine the connection among the person and the country and, in flip, give a contribution to a brand new and richer knowing of the position of the citizen in sleek democracies.

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Extra info for Dignity Rights: Courts, Constitutions, and the Worth of the Human Person

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47 As more and more people agree on the meaning of dignity, it becomes less and less useful as a legal right. On the other hand, as the meaning of dignity fragments and becomes particularized, as it does in constitutions, then it no longer represents the sum of humanity but looks like any other right, to be applied as warranted by adjudicative facts and usually balanced against competing social and individual needs. That constitution drafters from all parts of the world have found it useful, but useful in different ways, and that courts in many countries find it indispensable in limiting the powers of the state but do so in different factual and legal contexts, suggest that dignity is not recognized as a universal truism, but as a concept with particular legal and political—​­if not also moral—​­ballast.

This is the aspect of dignity that mandates recognition of same-​­sex marriage: part of human dignity ensures that each individual’s unique personal choices are respected whether or not those choices are consistent with majoritarian values. Same-​­sex marriage is not appropriate for all, but must be protected for those for whom it is appropriate. indd 33 21267 8/22/12 10:16 AM 34 Chapter 2 In these cases, we begin to see the conflation of dignity and equality. Dignity demands that we respect each person’s individuality, but in so doing, it also requires that we treat each person the same: to recognize the dignitarian interests of some but not others denigrates both the equality and the dignity interests of the latter.

Or does the ever-​­expanding reach of the law threaten primordial human dignity? Or can they sit side by side, like two restless children on a park bench, enduring or provoking occasional skirmishes over the boundary lines, but basically leaving each other intact? Or, perhaps, do they have not an antagonistic relationship, but rather an interdependent obligation to nurture one another to their mutual benefit? The answers to these questions depend in large part on how courts, in the context of specific cases, characterize the multiple qualities of individual dignity, beyond its basic inherence in human existence.

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