Human Dignity Essay

A specific European content to what human dignity means.

As well as an idea of progress: the text of the Protocol talks about the “full recognition” of dignity, implying that the existence of the death penalty can no longer be co-existent with the idea of dignity.

To date (a search I did in the case-law database halfway October 2016) 876 cases include a reference to human dignity.

Sometimes because a victim of a human rights violation mentions or invokes it, but very often because the European Court itself uses it.

Secondly, it is used here to support a distinctly regional, European normative achievement: the abolition of the death penalty.

Obviously, the death penalty still exists in many countries across the globe and this new agreement is therefore reflective of a new-found European rather than a universal consensus.But where the Declaration refers several times to human dignity (“all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” says its first Article), the European Convention’s drafters did not opt for grand statements of that kind. Certainly not different philosophies about human rights than those of the drafters of the Universal Declaration – they partly knew each other, largely lived in the same socio-cultural context and equally perceived human rights protection as a necessary reaction to the barbarities of the Second World War.A former president of the European Court, Jean-Paul Costa, has suggested that the reason, rather, may be found in the intention to create a pragmatic, practice-oriented instrument.** To make sure that the ideals of the Universal Declaration would not be lost in space, or, more specifically, in the trenches of the Cold War, the European drafters created practical instruments such as a human rights court and binding obligations for states by way of a treaty. In any event, among practitioners and academics alike, this European Convention is widely seen as both the most successful, effective, and most-developed system of human rights protection in the world.Dignity is important because it allows individuals and groups to feel respected, valued and connected with others around them.Dignity and respect are considered basic human rights, and both help people feel a sense of worthiness and importance.However, it can be overlooked in certain situations, such as when providing healthcare to elderly and disabled patients as well as when performing medical treatments on people of different races, socioeconomic statuses and ethnic identities.Showing dignity involves listening to and acknowledging concerns, making people feel their opinions are valued and speaking to them on an equal level.And he was many times moved from prison to the courtroom and vice versa in very cramped conditions in vans, during many hours.In the case and in line with its case-law, the Court held that “The State must ensure that a person is detained in conditions which are compatible with respect for human dignity, that the manner and method of the execution of the measure do not subject him to distress or hardship of an intensity exceeding the unavoidable level of suffering inherent in detention, and that, given the practical demands of imprisonment, his health and well-being are adequately secured” (para. In the judgment, however, it only found that the constant moving of Mr Belousov in difficult and cramped constituted a violation of his human rights.How different it was in the original text of the Convention, in 1950, when the death penalty was included as a formal exception to the right to life.That exception is still in the Convention, but has by now largely become a dead letter.


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