German constitutional law proclaims to grant human dignity “absolute” protection, whereas Israeli law permits a weighing of human dignity against other important interests. In spite of this difference in principle, German and Israeli law arrive at remarkably similar results with respect to the regulation of “dignity-sensitive” areas of criminal procedure, such as the privilege against self-incrimination, the search of the body and the home of suspects, and secret surveillance of private communications. With regard to privileged conversations, Israeli law provides for even stronger safeguards against state intrusion than German law. The protection against forced self-incrimination, by contrast, goes further under German law. In order to optimize the protection of human dignity in the criminal process, the authors suggest a strict distinction between measures designed to investigate past offenses and those aimed at preventing crime.
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