Dignità umana in senso oggettivo e diritto internazionale

Pasquale De Sena

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


According to some authors (Hennette Vauchez, Waldron, Le Bris), human dignity would be provided with an objective or collective dimension, being therefore able to charge individuals with obligations. Human dignity, seen as an objective value, would therefore take the shape of a ‘right of the humanity’ (at variance with human dignity, usually understood as referring to individual rights) under international law (Le Bris). Human dignity should be distinguished from simple individual rights – such as the right to freedom of expression or to dispose of one's own body – with which it can easily enter into conflict. On the contrary, it is impossible, in my opinion, to state that an unitary concept of objective dignity may be drawn from the relevant practice, if one only takes into account that: a) in many relevant cases, references to dignity are simply ... not made; b) in some cases, references to dignity seem to be too generic (e.g.: the Jordan and the De Reuck cases); c) only in a few cases (Peep-Shows, Dwarfs Tossing, Omega), references to dignity are construed as related to an ‘objective’ notion of dignity; c) in other cases (Netherlands v. European Parliament and Council of the European Union and Brüstle v. Greenpeace), references to dignity are construed so as to exclude the right to a commercial exploitation of the human body (as a whole or in part) or embryos. It is therefore difficult to conclude that dignity would amount to a ‘right of the humanity’ (Le Bris) under contemporary international law; and it is equally difficult to infer from the said practice a general principle of international law on dignity (i.e., objective dignity). At the same time, it has not to be neglected that both the Netherlands v. European Parliament and Council of the European Union and the Brüstle v. Greenpeace judgments, display a clear tendency towards the need to prohibit (different) forms of commercial exploitation of the human body and human embryos. One could therefore conclude that a EU general principle is currently in force, according to which the commercial exploitation of the human body and human embryos should be banned. Such a principle may extend even beyond the EU, as far as both the domestic law and case law of other European countries could conform to it (so as it occurred at the beginning of its formation, because of the case law of French and German courts).
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Human dignity in an objective sense and international law
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)573-586
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Commercial exploitation
  • Corpo umano
  • Dignità umana in senso oggettivo
  • Diritto internazionale
  • Fundamental principles of EU law
  • General Principles
  • Human body
  • International Law
  • Objective Human Dignity
  • Principi fondamentali del diritto UE
  • Principi generali
  • Sfruttamento commerciale


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