Human dignity is a well-known concept among Western countries since after World War II, when states, in an effort to create a new platform of cooperation with a view to guaranteeing peace, were looking for an axiological foundation of the new order. The findings described in the article may serve to underpin the following notions, which have to be the object of further research on relations between the human dignity principle and rules of criminal liability, guilt in particular. First, the “guilt standard” is obligatory, whenever a state intends to punish a person. Second, punishment can be meted out only to an offender with an ability to bear responsibility. In other words, only a person whose characteristic derived from the principle of dignity is fully actualized can be punished. Third, punishing should be preceded by an analysis of the degree of guilt. The more eager the perpetrator was to act against the legal system and against the values protected by it, the severer punishment should be meted out. Finally, law should provide for exclusion of culpability when the human dignity principle demands one to act in a manner that is outwardly criminal, but was committed due to a motivation that ought to be excused in the light of the dignity principle.
Studia Iuridica 2016, nr 67
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