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Contribution to Book
Human Dignity and Uniform Law: An Unhappy Relationship
Essays In Honor of Saul Litvinoff (2008)
  • Jan M Smits
This contribution argues that there is no `transnational' concept of human dignity or of public policy. These concepts are essentially local and we should not try to harmonize them by drafting common principles or rules. To substantiate this thesis, the inquiry into the harmonizing effect of human dignity and pubic policy takes place at four different levels. First, two instruments in the field of international contract law (the PECL and the Unidroit Principles) are considered. Second, some case law of the European Court of Justice (notable the Omega case) is looked at. A third level of inquiry concerns a representative case of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (the Wackenheim case). The fourth level of analysis is whether a uniform interpretation of human dignity is likely at the national level. In the absence of one uniform concept of human dignity, one should stop claiming that it could form a barrier against the negative effects of globalization.
  • Public policy,
  • ordre public,
  • human rights,
  • harmonization
Publication Date
Olivier Moreteau, Julio Romanach, Alberto Zuppi
Claitor's Publishing
Citation Information
Jan M Smits. "Human Dignity and Uniform Law: An Unhappy Relationship" Baton RougeEssays In Honor of Saul Litvinoff (2008)
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