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Human Dignity
The Constitutional Value and the Constitutional Right


  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107462069

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About the Authors
  • Human dignity is now a central feature of many modern constitutions and international documents. As a constitutional value, human dignity involves a person's free will, autonomy, and ability to write a life story within the framework of society. As a constitutional right, it gives full expression to the value of human dignity, subject to the specific demands of constitutional architecture. This analytical study of human dignity as both a constitutional value and a constitutional right adopts a legal-interpretive perspective. It explores the sources of human dignity as a legal concept, its role in constitutional documents, its content, and its scope. The analysis is augmented by examples from comparative legal experience, including chapters devoted to the role of human dignity in American, Canadian, German, South African, and Israeli constitutional law.

    • Provides a comprehensive legal theory of human dignity, including the analytical tools necessary to grant human dignity its proper place as a constitutional value and as a constitutional right
    • Demonstrates the application of the theory by comparing judgments from many legal systems
    • Offers the perspective of a judge who applies these theories in practice
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An engaging explication of a legal value whose time has come. The twenty-first century will be the century of dignity.' Human Rights Law Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107462069
    • length: 400 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Fundamental Concepts and History:
    1. The various aspects of human dignity
    2. The intellectual history of the social value of human dignity
    3. Human dignity as a value and as a right in international documents
    4. Human dignity as a value and as a right in constitutions
    Part II. Human Dignity as a Constitutional Value:
    5. Purposive constitutional interpretation
    6. The role of human dignity as a constitutional value
    7. Three types of models for determining the content of the constitutional value of human dignity
    Part III. Human Dignity as a Constitutional Right:
    8. Recognition of the constitutional right to human dignity and its content
    9. Human dignity as a framework right (mother-right)
    10. The area covered by the right to human dignity
    Part IV. Human Dignity in Comparative Law:
    11. Human dignity in American constitutional law
    12. Human dignity in Canadian constitutional law
    13. Human dignity in German constitutional law
    14. Human dignity in South African constitutional law
    15. Human dignity in Israeli constitutional law.

  • Author

    Aharon Barak, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
    Aharon Barak is a faculty member at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel, and a visiting professor at Yale Law School. In 1975 he was appointed Attorney General of the State of Israel, becoming Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel in 1978 and serving as President from 1995 until his retirement in 2006. He has also served as a lecturer, professor and Dean at the Law School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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