Giorgio Repetto

Human Dignity and Its Social Dimension in European Constitutional Law

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


The increasing role of human dignity in judicial conversations throughout the world reveals a two-fold risk: on the one hand, it bolsters a cosmopolitan approach whose traits remain quite unclear, while on the other hand it supports the sceptic opinions on its ability to counter as a valid narrative for human rights foundations. Beyond the ethical and philosophical debates, the article seeks to reinforce the premises of the social dimension of dignity as stated in some European constitutions after WWII (with particular regard to Italy and Germany). The pluralist and relational concept of dignity enshrined therein represents a valid alternative to the current struggles on what should be 'the' European notion of human dignity, even if its judicial applications in the fields of social rights and of freedom of expression at national level show the difficulties of a coherent application of that concept. However, these difficulties reveal that human dignity must be tethered to a community of interpretation even if this interplay risks to downgrade the role of the former if its social dimension is not supported by the political community.

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Article first page

Article first page