Human Dignity and Autonomy

12 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2019

Date Written: February 18, 2019


This short article explores the concept of human dignity from two standpoints. On the one hand, it expounds the functions that the concept of human dignity plays in constitutional practice in jurisdictions around the world. On the other, it formulates difficulties that the leading theories of human dignity encounter in articulating the meaning of human dignity as a constitutional concept. These difficulties are instructive because they indicate the parameters in which a more adequate constitutional theory of human dignity would operate.

Keywords: human dignity, human rights, constitutional law, constitutional rights, proportionality, Dworkin, Waldron, Kant

Suggested Citation

Weinrib, Jacob, Human Dignity and Autonomy (February 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Jacob Weinrib (Contact Author)

Queen's University ( email )

Sutherland Hall
Room 544
Kingston, Ontario K7L3N6
416 452 9268 (Phone)

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