Vai menu di sezione

Call for papers - Human Dignity and BioLaw (BioLaw Journal 2/17)
Anno 2017

The Editorial Board of BioLaw Journal – Rivista di BioDiritto  has the pleasure of launching, in occasion of issue n. 2/2017 of the Journal, a call for papers dedicated to the theme of Human Dignity and BioLaw.

*** Italian version here ***

The complete text of the call (in Italian and in English) is available in the download box below.


Human dignity is now an established literary genre, a widespread principle recognized by constitutional and international texts and widely used by both national and international courts. Therefore, the only reason to make it the subject of a call for papers is the need to examine its significance in relation to the specific issues of bio-law. We welcome contributions developing three fundamental issues: a first one concerns the meaning of “human being” in the interpretation of “human dignity”, a second one touches upon the moral and physical dimension of the degradation of dignity, and questions whether the degradation of dignity may also be determined by economic and social reasons; finally, the third issue aims at investigating who is the judge of the violation of human dignity.

Key questions of the call

1. Is human dignity a principle which can only refer to human beings or are there aspects of dignity that also non-human species may be entitled to?

2. Does human dignity only protect human individuals or does it also extend to conditions for life, that is, the biological material needed to create life or to cure the disease?

3. Does human dignity only protect living individuals or does it also extend to the corpse, to individuals’ remains, ashes and memories?

4. Dignity protects human beings whose life is threatened by repression, persecution, or human rights violations, namely by those conditions that are required for the recognition of the refugee status. Are poverty and social exclusion involving the violation of human dignity?

5. Who is the judge of the violation of human dignity? Is it the society and its institutions, or is it the individual herself, who feels her dignity violated? Well-known episodes (e.g. the French case of the “dwarf launch”) make the answer to this question crucial, and influence the approach to the following issues;

6. Is there an “objective” model of human dignity which may overlap with “subjective” evaluations of it? Could an abstract concept of dignity overlap with assessments of the subject who, for example, prefers selling an organ or renting her womb rather than accepting to live in extreme poverty and social degradation?

7. A great debate is currently going on assisted suicide. To what extent does this debate imply an answer to the previous questions, as they oppose a subjective assessment of the “value of life” and its dignity to an objective vision of it?

As we can see, the spectrum of these questions is vast. This call aims at developing both the theoretical-philosophical profile of the chosen themes and the legal-argumentative analysis, aiming at exploring the current debate on concrete case studies or hypothetical cases in which different views and opposing interests come into conflict.

Submitted papers will be anonymously evaluated by an ad hoc scientific committee and selected for publication on the Journal also on the basis of their touch of originality.

Manuscripts shall not exceed 80.000 characters (spaces included) and could be submitted in Italian, English, Spanish or French (an abstract in English is required). Author guidelines are available here .

The deadline for electronic submission to is 1st May 2017.

Pubblicato il: Giovedì, 23 Marzo 2017 - Ultima modifica: Venerdì, 02 Agosto 2019
torna all'inizio