Keywords: cultural legal tradition, protection of fundamental rights, "new rights"
During the course of the 21st century important changes have occurred in the protection of fundamental rights and as a result the national legal systems are evermore influenced by the jurisprudence of the European, international and even foreign courts. This evolution, which takes fundamental rights beyond the borders of the national constitution, entails several substantial changes. The number and the content of fundamental rights are reshaped under the influence of external judges. The first part of the essay deals with the external influence on fundamental rights contained in national constitutions, while the second part addresses the problem of the ambivalent nature of fundamental rights which are at a crossroad between universality and particularity and then proposes a series of basic principles that should be borne in mind in order to fully respect both the universal core of fundamental rights and the diversity of the cultural legal tradition of each country.