What impact has the European Convention and Human Rights Act had?

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 18-04-13 21:57
  • European Convention drawn up in 1953 and Britain signed the document. European Convetion guaranteed certains rights for people (life, freedom from torture/slavery, right to liberty and free trial, freedom of thought and religion, right to marry and have a family etc.) Meant citizens who felt rights were denied could take case to Starsbourg for compensation. 
  • Courts of Human Rights in Strasbourg interpret Convetion in each case. Often went against the British government. Prisoners won right to consult lawyer/write to MP, corporal punishment in schools was ruled out, armed forces had to allow lesbians/homosexuals etc/ 
  • Difficult for people to access Starbourg as cost money and very slow process - sometimes cases taking 5-6 years to reach a decision. People end up giving up. 
  • The Convention became part of British Law as part of HRA 1998 (became operative from 2000). Now the British Courts have to review these decisions. Judges now able to declare law incompatible with Convention and government would be able to change it in reaction. In this way would not pose threat to parliament

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