Dignity and human rights : the French and European legal approaches under consideration
In our societies, in which persons are called upon to live together, but where the individual interest to develop oneself in accordance with personal desires and feelings is to be taken into consideration, the concept of dignity is of fundamental importance. Able to be seen as the intrinsic value of the individual due to his belonging to humanity, and whereby he deserves respect for his human quality, but also as the individual’s personal feelings and self-esteem, supposedly free to act according to his wishes, dignity would provide a basis for human rights requests. In this context, the thesis aims at analysing and determining how and to what extent dignity plays a role in the realm of human rights. Throughout a research based on the French and European - the Council of Europe – legal systems, the thesis attempts to analyse how dignity is used to protect human equality on the basis of a right to be respected as a human being. Then, on the same methodology, it tries to establish that dignity can provide a support for individual freedom in order to reach self-fulfilment. Finally, the thesis seeks to demonstrate that dignity should be able to justify solidarity, necessary in the frame of the individuals’ ‘quality of life’.