The Role of Dignity in Equality Law: Lessons from Canada and South Africa
25 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2008 Last revised: 9 Mar 2012
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: Suggested Citation