Human Rights

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  • Human Rights
    • European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
      • Why?
        • Recognition that many of the horrors of the Second World War were inflicted on citizens because their human rights had not been protected
      • When?
        • Treaty was signed in 1950 and ratified in 1951. It became binding in 1953
      • Who?
        • Originally created by the council of Europe. Now 45 countries have signed the ECHR.
      • What?
        • Treaty made by the countries who signed it, agreeing to give their citizens the basic rights contained within it.
      • How?
        • Any citizen of a state that has signed the ECHR can take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
      • Examples of Human Rights
        • Right to liberty
        • Right to a fair trial
        • Freedom from slavery
        • Prohibition of retrospective criminal laws
        • Freedom from torture
        • Right to a private life
        • Right to life
        • Right to an education
    • Human rights act
      • Why?
        • Difficult for citizens to seek redress if they felt their rights under the convention had been abused
      • When?
        • HRA came into force in the UK on 2 October 2000
      • Who?
        • HRA was a piece of legislation created by Tony Blair's Labour government
      • What?
        • HRA is an Act of Parliament which incorporated the ECHR into UK law
      • How?
        • Can use the HRA to seek redress for a breach of their Human rights as stated in the European Convention by taking their case to any British court
      • Made the following changes
        • Courts must interpret all legislation in a way that is compatible with ECHR
        • Government/ public authority cannot behave in a way that is not compatible with the ECHR
        • Made it easier for a UK citizen to seek redress
        • Government must publish a statement as to whether or not any new bill introduced is compatible with the ECHR
      • For/against the human rights legislation
        • Against
          • Gives too much power to judges that must interpret it, causing conflict between Parliament and the courts
          • Not entrenched and could be repealed at any time
          • Should not apply to all because some people in society should not be entitled to all of their rights.
          • Countries allowed to stray from obligation to carry out most of the rights in time of emergency
        • For
          • If the HRA were repealed by parliament, the UK is still a signatory of the ECHR
          • Rights have been strengthened
          • avoids conflict between domestic and international law
          • Rights to all humans equally
          • wrongdoers can be made to pay compensation in cases of human rights violation
          • Cheaper for a citizen to seek a remedy for a violation of rights

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