Constitutionalization of the human dignity concept

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Author: Tatiana Vasilieva

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2020-4-98-110

Keywords: constitution; constitutional control; constitutional review; constitutional rights; constitutional value; dignity


It’s impossible to imagine a modern constitution without provisions on human dignity. This concept has an impact on human rights provisions and is a necessary component of constitutional statehood. At the constitutional level, human dignity can be positioned as a principle of law that defines the goals or grounds for the adoption of the Constitution, a specific human right or as a ground for permissible restriction of constitutional rights and freedoms. Some constitutive acts enshrine the collective dignity of social groups or peoples, but this approach is not very common. The concept of dignity is an open one, it applies to all areas of human activity. In spite of its universal recognition, the interpretation of this concept is largely determined by the specific characteristics of the constitutional development of a particular country. Constitutional disputes concerning human dignity can be classified on the basis of the nature of claims against the state (ensuring respect to individual autonomy, providing a minimum set of socioeconomic benefits for a decent existence, protection from human dignity infringements by public officials or third parties). This concept allows the constitutional review bodies to identify areas of individual freedom and those human rights violations that affect self-worth as well as to identify new trends in the development of law and society.

About the author: Tatiana Vasilieva – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Associate Professor, Chief Research Fellow, Human Rights Department, Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

Citation: Vasilieva T. (2020) Kostitutsionalizatsiya kontseptsii dostoinstva cheloveka [Constitutionalization of the human dignity concept]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 98–110. (In Russian).


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