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O Tempora! O Mores! The Place of Boni Mores in Dignity Discourse



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1. Foster, C. Dignity and the ownership and use of body parts. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2014;23(4):417–30.

2. Brown, J. Dignity, body parts and the actio iniuriarum: A novel solution to a common (law) problem? Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2019;28(3):522–33.

3. Foster, C. Human dignity: Be philosophical and European, but not Scottish. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2019;28(3):534–41.

4. See note 3, Foster 2019.

5. Waldron, J. Dignity, Rank, and Rights, The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Delivered at University of California, Berkeley April 21–23, 2009.

6. See note 5, Waldron 2009, at 209.

7. See note 1, Foster 2014, at 420.

8. See note 2, Brown 2019, at 531.

9. See note 1, Foster 2014, at 418.

10. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 534 (Foster’s emphasis).

11. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 534.

12. See Whitty, N. Overview of rights of personality in Scots law. In: Whitty, NR, Zimmermann, R, eds. Rights of Personality in Scots Law: A Comparative Perspective. Dundee: DUP; 2009, at 160.

13. Zimmermann, R. Actio Iniuriarum, in The Law of Obligations: Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition, Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1996, at 102.

14. Digest

15. See Waider, H. ‘Ars iuris’ und ‘suum in persona ipsa’ bei Hugo Donellus, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Metholodologie und der Lehre von den Menschenrechten. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 1961;52:69.

16. See Giltaij, J. Existimatio as “Human dignity” in late-classical Roman law. Fundamina 2016:232, at 234.

17. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 535.

18. Macklin, R. Dignity is a useless concept. JME 2003 1419, at 1420.

19. See English, V, Mussell, R, Sheather, J, Sommerville, A. Autonomy and its limits: What place for public good? In: McLean, S. First Do No Harm: Law, Ethics and Healthcare. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2006, at 118.

20. See Coggon, J, Miola, J. Autonomy, liberty and decision-making, The Cambridge Law Journal 2011: 523, at 524.

21. Though neither the Romans nor the ius commune jurists conceived of these personality interests as ‘rights.’ See Blackie, J. Doctrinal history of the protection of personality rights in Europe in the ius commune: General actions or specific actions? Electronic Journal of Comparative Law 2009;1:4

22. Neethling, J, Potgieter, JM, Visser, PJ. Law of Delict, 4th ed. Durban: Butterworths; 2001, at 14.

23. D.

24. Ando, C, du Plessis, PJ, Tuori, K. The Oxford Handbook of Roman Law and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2016, at 326.

25. Gordley, J. Reconceptualising the protection of dignity in early modern Europe: Greek philosophy meets Roman law. In: Ascheri, M et al., eds. Ins Wasser geworfen und Ozeane durchquert. Weimar: Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar; 2003, at 286.

26. See note 16, Giltaij 2016, at 233.

27. Cicero. De Officiis. 1:105–7.

28. Foster, C. Human Dignity in Bioethics and Law. Oxford: Hart Publishing; 2011, at 28.

29. Kaser, M. Infamia und Ignominia in den Römischen Rechtsquellen. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung 1956;220, at 231.

30. See note 16, Giltaij 2016, at 246.

31. See note 16, Giltaij 2016, at 236.

32. Justinian. Institutes, 4, 4, 3.

33. See note 32, Justinian, at 4, 4, 7.

34. Greenidge, AHJ. Infamia: Its place in Roman Public and Private Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1894, Chapter 2.

35. Digest.1.5.4.

36. Descheemaeker, E, Scott, H. Iniuria and the Common Law. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart; 2013, at 21.

37. See note 36, Descheemaeker, Scott 2013.

38. Whitman, J. Human dignity in Europe and the United States. In: Nolte, G, ed. Europe and U.S. Constitutionalism. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing; 2005, at 97.

39. Donellus. Commentarii de Iure Civili. 1589:2, 8, 3, 229–30.

40. See note 15, Waider 1961, at 69.

41. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 537.

42. See note 2, Brown 2019.

43. See Ibbetson, D. Iniuria, Roman and English. In: Descheemaeker, E, Scott, H. Iniuria and the Common Law. Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart; 2013, at 43.

44. See Descheemaeker, Scott 2013, at 43.

45. Strauss, SA. Bodily injury and the defence of consent. South African Law Journal 1964:179, at 183.

46. See note 45, Strauss 1964, at 182–3.

47. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 538.

48. See note 2, Brown 2019, at 531.

49. See Brown, J. Revenge porn and the actio iniuriarum: Using ‘old law’ to solve ‘new problems.’ Legal Studies 2018:396, passim.

50. Consider, e.g., Khaliq v. HM Advocate 1984 J.C. 23

51. This, it is tentatively submitted, may serve, in part, as the rationale for the ‘declaratory power of the High Court’—the much-maligned, yet practically extant, express power of the Scottish High Court of Justiciary to declare novel conduct criminal even in there exists no prior proscription of such conduct.

52. I.e., s.28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which prohibited the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality.

54. See the discussion in Brazier, M, Fovargue, S. Transforming wrong into right: What is ‘proper medical treatment’? In: Fovargue, S, Mullock, A, eds. The Legitimacy of Medical Treatment: What Role for the Medical Exception. London: Routledge; 2016, passim.

55. Lewis, P. The medical exception. Current Legal Problems 2012:355, at 358.

56. Consider, for example, sterilization or castration, inter alia: See the discussion in Meyers, DW. The Human Body and the Law: A Medico-Legal Study. London: Aldine Transaction; 1970, passim.

57. As Foster suggests the actio iniuriarum may do, see note 3, Foster, 2019.

58. See Caparo v Dickman [1990] 1 All ER 568.

59. See note 13, Zimmermann 1996, at 1092.

60. Lee, for instance, described the actio iniuriarum as a ‘squalid action’: Lee RW, Introduction to Roman-Dutch Law, 5th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1953, at 335.

61. See note 2, Brown 2019.

62. Stone, FF. Touchstones of tort liability. Stanford Law Review 1950:259, at 272.

63. See Bringing Rights Home: The Human Rights Bill, [1997] CM 3782

64. de la Mare, T, Gallafent, K. The horizontal effect of the human rights act 1998. Judicial Review 2001:1757, para.27.

65. See note 64, de la Mare, Gallafent 2001, at paragraph 27(a).

66. See Du Bois, F. Private law in the age of rights. In: Reid, EC, Visser, D, eds. Private Law and Human Rights: Bringing Rights Home in Scotland and South Africa. Edinburgh: EUP; 2013, at 12.

67. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 534.

68. See the discussion in Gearty C. The Human Rights Act Should Not Be Repealed. LSE Law Policy Briefing 16 2016.

69. See note 3, Foster, 2019.

70. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 539.

71. See note 1, Foster 2014, at 426.

72. See note 3, Foster, 2019, at 535.

O Tempora! O Mores! The Place of Boni Mores in Dignity Discourse



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