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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Human Dignity, International Protection

Niels Petersen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 January 2021

Equality before the law — Right to non-discrimination — Right to social security — General principles of international law — Customary international law — War crimes — Geneva Conventions 1949

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Human dignity is one of the ethical cornerstones of the international order (see also Ethos, Ethics and Morality in International Relations). Its legal significance, however, is less than clear. Dignity did not appear as a legal concept before the end of World War II (History of International Law, since World War II). As a reaction to the atrocities of the Nazi regime in Germany (National Socialism and International Law), the notion was included in many national and international human rights catalogues which were elaborated in the post-war period. The most...
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