Human Dignity as a Constitutional Concept in Germany and in Israel
Israel Law Review, Vol. 44, 2011
47 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 19, 2011
The article applies comparative law tools in order to portray eight significant aspects of the constitutional right for human dignity in Germany and in Israel. The aspects which are considered are: the constitutional status of human dignity; the nature of the right; its effect on other constitutional rights; its scope and definition; waiver of human dignity; human dignity after death; negative and positive aspects of the right; and the right to asylum.
The textual basis of the constitutional guarantees is as different as its principal meaning. While in Germany, the guarantee is held to be absolute, not subject to any restrictions, and therefore given a quite narrow scope, in Israel the scope of the right is much broader, but can be limited in the public interest.
Still, from the comprehensive comparison a similar dynamics may be identified in Germany and in Israel. On the one hand, the constitutional coverage of relative principles is widened. On the other hand, the constitutional coverage of absolute principles is extended, as well as constitutional lacunas, that is, reducing the aspects of constitutional law that the written Constitution does not cover.
Keywords: Human Dignity; German Constitutional Law; Israeli Constitutional Law
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