Paolo Becchi

Human Dignity in the German Basic Law and in the Italian Constitution

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Human dignity - social dignity - Italian Constitution - Bonn Basic Law.

This article analyses how the principle of human dignity appears in the Bonn Basic Law and in the Italian Constitution, that are models of two different uses of such principle. In the German Basic Law, the concept of human dignity is a kind of prepositive Grundnorm involving the prohibition to exploit the human being by reducing him to a simple thing (cf. article 1). On the other hand, the Italian Constitution (cf. article 3, para- graph 1, art. 36, paragraph 1, art. 41 paragraph 2) always insists on the social dimension of dignity. Below are presented some doctrinal orientations and their evolution to the most recent debates on so-called ethically-sensitive issues. The Bonn Basic Law can be considered as a model of dignity conceived as a gift that every human being has got, while the Italian Constitution is more linked to social benefits. Both models have strengths and weaknesses; it would be therefore ideal to combine them together, completing the recognition of the dignity that belongs to every individual with the creation of social conditions that enable its effective implementation.

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