The Protection of Human Dignity in Contemporary Legal Pluralism

  • Jean-Guy Belley
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 17)


Historically, legal pluralism was relied upon by members of a colonized nation or an oppressed minority to claim respect for human dignity from the colonizing nation or from the dominant majority. Today, legal pluralism has become part of the official orthodoxy of national and supra-national law. It is often invoked by leaders of large and powerful public and private organizations, who endorse “soft law” approaches to legal regulation (e.g. codes of conduct). In this context, respect for human dignity risks being marginalized or even denied to individuals as legal subjects within a global society dominated by impersonal corporations and entities. For legal pluralism to reinforce human dignity rather than human alienation, it is necessary to maintain a critical perspective on alternative forms of “soft law” regulation, rather than assuming that they are necessarily or always progressive.


Human Dignity Legal Order Legal Personality Legal Culture Organizational Entity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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