Human Dignity and Law
Legal and Philosophical Investigations
Stephen Riley, a lecturer in the Law School of the University of Leicester in Britain, has written a philosophical work examining the concept of dignity and its role in legal theory and, to a degree, the application of law. In Human Dignity and Law: Legal and Philosophical Investigations (Routledge, 2018), Riley argues that the role of human dignity should be recognized by courts and all of society, but he is wary of such a concept becoming a trump card in a court’s decision-making process. He notes that the concerns of justice and equality need to be recognized by courts but court must be aware of the infrequent instances when the demands of dignity are in conflict with the demands of justice. In this podcast we discuss the definition of human dignity, the author’s philosophical orientation, and the applications of the concept of dignity has been applied by courts in different settings.
Ian J. Drake is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. His scholarly interests include American legal and constitutional history and political theory.