The right to dignity is now recognized in most of the world's constitutions, and hardly a new constitution is adopted without it.
Over the last sixty years, courts in Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and North America have developed a robust jurisprudence of dignity on subjects as diverse as health care, imprisonment, privacy, education, culture, the environment, sexuality, and death.
As the range and growing number of cases about dignity attest, it is invoked and recognized by courts far more frequently than other constitutional guarantees. Dignity Rights is the first book to explore the constitutional law of dignity around the world.
Erin Daly shows how dignity has come not only to define specific interests like the right to humane treatment or to earn a living wage, but also to protect the basic rights of a person to control his or her own life and to live in society with others.
Daly argues that, through the right to dignity, courts are redefining what it means to be human in the modern world.
As described by the courts, the scope of dignity rights marks the outer boundaries of state power, limiting state authority to meet the demands of human dignity.
As a result, these cases force us to reexamine the relationship between the individual and the state and, in turn, contribute to a new and richer understanding of the role of the citizen in modern democracies.