The Right to Autonomy

Kai Möller

in The Global Model of Constitutional Rights

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664603
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745751 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

The Right to Autonomy

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This chapter defends the idea of a general right to autonomy. It demonstrates that it is coherent to accept rights to whatever is in the interest of the autonomy of a person, including socio-economic rights (which protect the preconditions of autonomy) and rights to engage in trivial activities (such as pursuing one's hobbies) and even immoral and harmful activities. It thus concludes that the almost unanimously held view that there is a threshold which separates mere interests (which have no special importance) from rights should be given up. The point and purpose of constitutional rights under the global model is thus to ensure that all autonomy interests of a person are adequately protected at all times. Further sections assess the implications of this view for constitutional design and interpretation, and the relevance of the general interest and considerations relating to the legitimacy of the democratic process for the weight of a constitutional right.

Keywords: autonomy; right to autonomy; special importance; threshold; general interest

Chapter.  9745 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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