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7 The Constitutionalisation of Private Law in the Uk: Is There an Emperor inside the New Clothes?

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Chapter Summary

In its Roman law origins, Private law already encompassed the protection of certain aspects of human dignity. Examples are the principles of iniuria and lesio enormis in the jus civile. Several rules of the public jus gentium emerged later, offering minimum humanitarian protection to non-Roman citizens against abuses by the Roman authorities, and becoming the ancient predecessor to modern International Humanitarian Law. Fundamental Rights can be written or unwritten, settled or emerging, global or culturally variable, National or Transnational or International. This chapter discusses the effect on Private law of Constitutional Rights of the lato sensu Constitution. At first sight, it is hard to contemplate Constitutionalisation of Private law in a country like the UK, which appears to have neither a Constitution nor Private law! However, certain basic civil rights have been recognized over the centuries in Royal Charters and Acts of Parliament that are considered to have Constitutional status.

Keywords: Constitutional Rights; fundamental rights; International Humanitarian Law; Private Law; Roman law; UK



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