An Analysis of the Legal Attributes of Human Dignity

By / 07-27-2017 /

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 38, No. 3, 2017


An Analysis of the Legal Attributes of Human Dignity



Hu Yuhong


Human dignity arises from the dignity and respect people enjoy as members of the human community. The law decrees that human dignity does not involve approbation of someone’s external qualities; rather, it is the acknowledgement of equal status. Human dignity is not determined by positive law, but is above positive law, belonging to the category of preexistent norms that exist independent of positive law. Such norms form the basis for integrating legal systems. These permanent norms cannot be amended at will; they represent the general ethical principles of modern law. Human dignity is not a matter of rights or basic rights; rather, it represents one’s position in society and equal legal status before the law. Many normative laws in China directly define humanity dignity, and affirm the guaranteeing of human dignity as the primary task of the state. Human dignity is related to people’s survival and livelihood; thus a material foundation for the realization of dignity can be provided by providing material assistance and improving public services.


Keywords: human dignity, legal status, legal ethics, legal position, legal rights