The Human Rights Act
• To describe what a right is.
• To identify the main contents of the Human
Rights Act, 1998.
• To discuss the history of the Act and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• To make links between the EU and the British
Human Rights Act
What is the Human Rights Act, 1998?
What do you know about it?
How does it affect us as citizens?
How does it affect services?
What is a right?:
• expectations of how you should be
• British law lays down the limits of what
rights citizens have and what may
happen if they infringe the rights of
We’ve all heard of the Human Rights
Act but where did it come from?
The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in
October 2000 .
It was adopted from the European Convention
on Human Rights making it possible to include
the protections laid out in the European
Convention into UK law.
The Historical Context of the Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act 1998
• Sets out the rights in the UK which are protected
by the European Convention on Human Rights
• introduced into our domestic law some of the
rights set out in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and other international
• It applies to all public authorities performing a
public function who must comply with the act
when doing their work or making decisions which
affect your rights.
• This is important to health and social care
• Responsibility is imposed on public services
• Under section 6 of the act it is unlawful for a
public authority to act in a way that is
incompatible with a convention right (unless
as the result of primary legislation)
• Absolute (articles 3, 4, 7) cannot be restricted
in any circumstances and violation claims are
not balanced against public interest.
• Limited (articles 2, 4 (2) 5, 6(1) )there are
some limitations to the established rights
• Qualified (articles 8,9,10,11) subject to
restrictions which weigh up individual rights
against general public interest.
Rights relating to Health and Social
• Article 2 Everyone’s life shall be protected by law.
• Article 3 No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment.
• Article 5 Everyone has the right to liberty and security of
• Article 6 Everyone is entitled to a fair and public Hearing
• Article 8 the Right to respect for his private and family life his
home and his correspondance.
• Article 9 Feedom of thought conscience and religion.
• Article 10 Freedom of expression
• Article 12 Right to marry and found a family
• Article 14 Freedom from discrimination
• The Human Rights act covers everyone in the
United Kingdom, regardless of citizenship or
immigration status. Anyone who is in the UK for
any reason is protected by the provisions in the
Human Rights Act.
• The rights in the HRA are known as 'justicible',
which means that if an individual thinks they
have been breached, they can take a court case
against the public sector body that has breached
A cultural change ….
“A culture of respect for human rights would exist when
there was a widely shared sense of entitlement to
these rights, of personal responsibility and of respect
for the rights of others ……… this would create a
more human society, a more responsive government
and better public services and could help to deepen
and widen democracy by increasing the sense among
individual men and women that they have a stake in
the way that they are governed”
Brammer (2007, P124)
The Human Rights Act Contents:
Consists of a series of articles.
Articles of the Human Rights Act 1998
A Guide to the Human Rights Act 1998
Bringing a claim
• Individual must be a “victim”.
• If found in breach there must be a range of
• Universal declaration of Human Rights
• United Nations Convention on the Rights of
Task: Case Studies exercises in 3 groups.