Human Dignity as a Constitutional Concept in Germany and in Israel

Israel Law Review, Vol. 44, 2011

47 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011

See all articles by Ariel L. Bendor

Ariel L. Bendor

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Michael Sachs

University of Cologne - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 19, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Bendor, Ariel L. and Sachs, Michael, Human Dignity as a Constitutional Concept in Germany and in Israel (January 19, 2011). Israel Law Review, Vol. 44, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1743439

Ariel L. Bendor (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Michael Sachs

University of Cologne - Faculty of Law ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50931
Germany

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