The Role of Dignity in Equality Law: Lessons from Canada and South Africa

25 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2008 Last revised: 9 Mar 2012

See all articles by Rory O'Connell

Rory O'Connell

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

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Abstract

This paper examines the link made on occasion between the concept of dignity and substantive equality; it is further noted that dignity can have very different meanings in different contexts. While the notion of dignity does not often play a substantive role in the resolution of decisions, sometimes the underlying understanding of dignity does matter. However, in all cases, judges should avoid the temptation to rely on unarticulated value judgments or subjective notions of dignity. When judges make reference to dignity, they should articulate the values underpinning their conception of it.

Keywords: equality, dignity, constitutional law

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

O'Connell, Rory, The Role of Dignity in Equality Law: Lessons from Canada and South Africa. International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 2, pp. 267-286, 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1116942

Rory O'Connell (Contact Author)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

HOME PAGE: http://www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk/

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