Veranstaltung

The Concept of Human Dignity in a Transatlantic Perspective: Foundations and Variations

Do 17 Nov, 9:00-18:00 - Fr 18 Nov, 9:00-17:00
Recht im Kontext Conference
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin,
GKR Wallotstr. 19, 14193 Berlin

A Berlin Dialogue on Transatlantic Legal Culture(s)

Does dignity support or constrain rights? Is it the highest constitutional principle, inviolable or accorded higher status than other constitutionally protected principles or rights?

Taking a closer look on historical developments, on claims, concepts and conceptions, consensus and confrontations in national, regional, transnational and international human rights discourse(s), the conference opened spaces for a more nuanced debate about transatlantic differences and commonalities regarding the interpretation of central constitutional norms.
Judicial approaches to dignity differ profoundly. Does dignity support or constrain rights? Is it the highest constitutional principle, inviolable or accorded higher status than other constitutionally protected principles or rights? How about the principle of proportionality? And about dignity’s absolute effect, once the *noyau dur* of Germany’s postwar constitutional tradition, but recently much contested?

Varieties of dignity were analyzed, differences in the conceptions of human
dignity in judicial interpretation and academic discourse  examined. In
their discussions, participantes revisited the normative foundations of
conceptions of human dignity, from various philosophical and theological
perspectives, and prompted close examinations of the interrelations of
those normative foundations with current legal discourse(s) on human
dignity. With short papers and intensive discussions, the conference
provided a framework and a discursive space to analyze and reassess the
advantages and disadvantages of human dignity in judicial interpretation
and academic reflection.

(supported by Dräger Foundation)