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Understanding Human Dignity$
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Christopher McCrudden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265642

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265642.001.0001

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Socio-Economic Rights, Basic Needs, and Human Dignity: A Perspective from Law's Front Line

Socio-Economic Rights, Basic Needs, and Human Dignity: A Perspective from Law's Front Line

Chapter:
(p.155) 8 Socio-Economic Rights, Basic Needs, and Human Dignity: A Perspective from Law's Front Line
Source:
Understanding Human Dignity
Author(s):

Conor Gearty

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265642.003.0008

The quest for the articulation of human dignity within the confines of the law invariably involves consideration of what the relevant human rights law can be said to require in any given case. This often then leads to consideration of what can be plausibly described as the basic needs of the individual whose claim is before the court. The law does not generally supply the certainty of meaning that might have been expected from a discipline which is widely (and usually rightly) appreciated for its commitment to clarity and predictability. Human dignity remains an elusive concept in law, begging more questions of judges than it supplies. Seeking to flesh out in law a meaning for human dignity which can then be required of society raises important questions of competence and democratic legitimacy. The chapter concludes with some suggestions as to the appropriate role for the litigation process in the protection and promotion of human dignity.

Keywords:   Key words: human dignity, dignity, social rights, economic rights, socio-economic rights

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