Enhanced Multi-Level Protection of Human Dignity in a Globalized Context Through Humanitarian Global Legal Goods

50 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2011 Last revised: 23 Jul 2011

See all articles by Nicolas Carrillo-Santarelli

Nicolas Carrillo-Santarelli

La Sabana University, Law Faculty; Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Date Written: February 1, 2011


The human rights field has undergone impressive developments, but formally it is still built upon a State-centered premise that may be at odds with what the protection of human beings demands nowadays, because those rights cannot be fully protected unless it is acknowledged that they can be violated by actors different from States and that their protection requires the contribution of several actors given the global challenges posed against them. Therefore, departure from a State centered paradigm and an isolationist view of legal systems is essential.

In this globalized age, human dignity is threatened by actors that may have enough power to challenge State authorities or that may take advantage of the gaps and lack of coordination in domestic and international regulations alike in order to abuse human beings with impunity. To counter this, some initiatives have been undertaken, but in spite of them double standards, lack of political will, wrong messages regarding the accountability of non-state actors, instances of impunity due to the State-centric nature of law, and gaps call for a shift in our approach to the protection of human dignity to enable tackling the core of the problem.

By focusing on their aim, it is possible to identify norms protective of human dignity that protect legal interests and values whose protection is coincident in legal systems that interact in a global space. These legal goods are common to different legal systems, and from them flow implied duties that bind both State and non-state actors alike. These legal principles are embodied in norms that protect humanitarian goods that, given their global nature, exerting their influence across actors and legal systems, may coordinate the action of entities in different legal systems and offer a more comprehensive protection to human dignity.

The identification of legal goods protective of human dignity in several legal systems alike, in whose promotion and protection some non-state actors are interested, is crucial in order to develop strategies of protection in which States and other actors jointly participate, through multi-level and simultaneous action, since the realities of globalization and the transnational manner in which those interests are violated imply that an effective protection requires the joint participation of several entities in various legal systems. Those global legal goods, therefore, both impose implicit duties on every potential offender and legitimize the action of actors without whose contribution they can hardly be promoted in the current interdependent world.

Keywords: Human Dignity, Non-State Actors, Jus Gentium, Lex Privata, Human Rights, Global Law

Suggested Citation

Carrillo-Santarelli, Nicolas, Enhanced Multi-Level Protection of Human Dignity in a Globalized Context Through Humanitarian Global Legal Goods (February 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1753036 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1753036

Nicolas Carrillo-Santarelli (Contact Author)

La Sabana University, Law Faculty ( email )

Campus Universitario del Puente del Común, Km. 7
Chia, Cundinamarca A.A.140122

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid ( email )


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics