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Human Dignity: Lodestar for Equality in South Africa - Elex Academic Bookstore

Human Dignity: Lodestar for Equality in South Africa

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Human Dignity: Lodestar for Equality in South Africa provides an in-depth analysis of human dignity and its relationship to equality in South African law. The author argues that human dignity is the attributive key that unlocks the constitutional meaning of equality and unfair discrimination. Equality cannot be usefully debated without first asking the vital question 'Equality of what?' The answer, it is contended, must be 'human dignity'. The philosophical and Abrahamic religious roots of these constitutional concepts of dignity and equality are investigated, then further explored and illustrated in the comparative context of South African, German and Canadian constitutional jurisprudence.

Clashes and tensions between rights inevitably occur when the equality and non-discrimination rights of a Bill of Rights are applied horizontally, that is between subjects of the state themselves. The human dignity of the contestants plays a vital role in resolving such tensions and conflicts. Human dignity moreover has a determining function when applying constitutionally mandated restitutionary (compensatory) equality and when determining what the legitimate extent and duration of such restitution is. These issues are also considered in a comparative constitutional context.