Judicial activity/democratic activity: the democratising effects of dignity

The paper discuses the role of human dignity in connecting the individual to the social and to the political sphere. It discusses some of the most recent and significant judicial rulings on human dignity across the world and argues that what they have in common is to position individual human beings (that is the petitioners) at the heart of the society, and therefore to recognise petitioners not as ‘atomistic entities’ but as participants in the polity in which they live. As a result, the key role played by judges in promoting human dignity is not to be seen as a questionable judicial overstepping of their boundaries of separation of powers. Rather, it has expanded the political space of democracy enhancing its quality.