Human Rights Act

1800 words 8 pages
The Human Right Act 1998 is an act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000.It’s aim is to “give further effect” in UK law to the right contained in the European Convention on Human Right. The Act makes available in UK courts a remedy for breach of a Convention right, without the need to go to the European Court of Human Right in Strasbourg. It also totally abolished the death penalty in UK law although this was not required by the Convention in force for the UK at that time.

In particular, the Act makes it unlawful for any public body to act in a way which is incompatible with the Convention, unless the wording of an Act of Parliament means they have
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In the interpretation of those rights the Act provides that the demostic courts “may” take into account the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

Section 7 enables any person, with standing to raise an action against a public authority which has acted or proposes to act in such a Convention –contravening manner. A person will have standing to do so provided they would satisfy the “victim test” stipulated by Article 34 of the convention. This is a more rigorous standard than is ordinarily applied to standing in English,althought not Scottish,Judical Review. If it is held that the public authority has violated the claimant’s convention rights, then the court is empowered to “grant such relief or remedy, or make such order within its powers as it considers just and appropriate. This can include an award of damages,althought the act provides additional restrictions on the Courts capacity to make such an award.

However, the Act also provide a defence for public authorities if their Convention violating act its in pursuance of a mandatory obligation imposed upon them by westminister primary legislation. The Act envisages that this will ordinarily be a difficult standard to meet although since it requires the courts to read such legislation. “So far as it is possible to do so in a way which is compatible with the convention rights.”

Where it is impossible to read primary legislation in a convention compliant manner, the only sanction available to the


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