Chapter 2: Human dignity and democracy in Europe: commitments, connections and red lines
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This chapter constructs a legal and theoretical interpretation of the connections between human rights, human dignity and democracy in Europe. It discusses the law developed under the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and the 2009 Treaty on the European Union, especially the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The chapter makes three points. First, it argues that the commitment to human dignity-based human rights has given rise to a societal dimension of democracy, complementing its political dimension. Second, it discusses how human dignity can be understood as both a pre-condition and ultimate aim of European democracy. Third, it argues that this understanding of democracy requires a conceptual construction of human dignity as including absolute prohibitions against dehumanising treatments, together with a right to access to justice.

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