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Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law by Cheryl Saunders, Thomas Fleiner, Mark Tushnet

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15‘Human dignity’ as a constitutional doctrine

Margit Cohn and Dieter Grimm

15.1 Introduction

The dignity of the human person is recognized across states and in transnational arrangements. It is expressed on several levels: as an overarching political principle underlying the constitutional framework, as a central key for the interpretation and application of other rights and values, and as a fully-fledged enforceable right. Unlike the classical libertarian civic rights, which draw their force from liberty, dignity also comprises the material preconditions of liberty and equality and becomes a source for social and economic rights. Yet, the concept is far from clear, and appears in a variety of forms. As a concept, it is also distinguished ...

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