Carmen Gina ACHIMESCU, The Interpretative Value of Human Dignity in the European Court of Human Rights Case-law

Abstract: In the European Convention on Human Rights’ (ECHR) system, human dignity is not a legally enforceable right. Such right does not figure of itself and, even if it was explicitly mentioned, it couldn’t exist independently of the enforceable rights guaranteed by the Convention (like the interdiction of discrimination provided in Article 14 EHRC). Though the human dignity is not explicitly guaranteed by the ECHR, this concept has an undeniable interpretative value. As an interpretation principle, human dignity has been invoked in order to substantiate individual rights, but also in order to limit individual’s liberties in the name of some values generally accepted by the society. Therefore, the human dignity is a concept which can play a double role – assertive and limitative. With such a wide meaning, this notion is partially suitable for an unique European consensual interpretation and partially convenient for specific national interpretations.

Key-words: European Convention on Human Rights, humanity, dignity, consensual interpretation, national differences.

« back