9.1.1 Human Rights Act 1998 - Introduction

Welcome to the ninth topic in this module guide - the Human Rights Act 1998! Human rights are thought of as the minimum level of protection that should be afforded in law by a government to its citizens. They are immutable, which means that a state cannot remove them from its people. The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the United Kingdom is entitled to; it incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic British law.

The following are contained within Schedule 1 of the Human Rights Act: the right to life, the prohibition of torture, the prohibition of slavery and forced labour, the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial, the right to no punishment without law, the right to respect for private and family life, the freedom of thought conscience and religion, the freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly and association, the right to marry and the prohibition of discrimination.

Below are some goals and objectives for you to refer to after learning this section.

Goals for this section:

  • To understand the difference between first generation, second generation and third generation rights at an international level.
  • To be able to identify the principal cases where the United Kingdom was found to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and under which Articles these cases were considered under.
  • To understand how the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights are intertwined.

Objectives for this section:

  • To be able to identify the extended optional protocols that signatory states can sign up to under the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • To be able to comprehend the remedies available upon the breaching of a Convention right by a public authority under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, namely: damages, declarations, injunctions, quashing orders, mandatory orders and prohibiting orders.

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