On 6 October 2000, 50 years after signing the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the United Kingdom Government finally incorporated the Convention into UK domestic law.
The Home Office described the Human Rights Act 1998 as “‘one of the most significant pieces of constitutional legislation enacted in the United Kingdom. It is a key part of the Government’s programme to encourage a society where the rights and responsibilities of our citizens are clearly recognised and properly balanced”.
The Human Rights Act makes it unlawful for a public authority to act against any Right set out in the Act and allows cases to be brought in a UK court against the public authority where a breach has occurred.
From October 2000 onwards, it is now possible to bring Court proceedings in the appropriate UK Court against a public authority. Anyone who considers that, through the actions or decisions of a public authority, they have unlawfully interfered with that person’s human rights, Court action can be brought. Further, if you feel that there is a risk that a public authority will interfere with your rights in the future, you may also bring Court proceedings to prevent those rights from being infringed.
Human Rights were introduced to United Kingdom statute law officially by the Human Rights Act 1998. Rights have always been part of UK law, but did not have official recognition by statute until 1998. Typical rights referred to are
- The right to life
- The right not to be tortured
- Freedom from slavery or forced labour
- The right to freedom and security
- Freedom of expression
- The right of quiet enjoyment
- The right to privacy & Family Life
- The right to a fair trial
- The right to marry
- Freedom of thought, conscience, & religion.
- Freedom of assembly and association
- Freedom from discrimination.
Any interference with the above rights allows an individual to seek help from the courts.
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