• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on UK law.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on UK law In democratic societies, it is usually felt that there are certain basic rights which should be available to everyone. These rights tend to vary in different legal systems but they generally include such freedoms as the right to say, think and believe what you like (freedom of expression, thought and conscience), and to form groups with others (freedom of assembly). Most democratic countries have a written Bill of Rights, which lays down the rights which, by law, can be enjoyed by citizens of that country. These rights have to be respected by the courts, parliament, the police and private citizens, unless the Bill of Rights allows otherwise. Such a Bill may form part of a written constitution or sit along side such a constitution: either way, it will usually have a status which is superior to that of ordinary law, in that it can only be changed by special procedure i.e. a referendum. Legislation, which is protected by special procedures, is said to be entrenched. Britain is unusual among democratic countries in having neither a Bill of Rights nor a written constitution. ...read more.

Middle

The main disadvantage of this idea of residual rights is that although the principle that a person is considered free to do anything not specifically prohibited by law which is fundamental to the idea of civil liberties, this principle also applies to the state, so that the government may violate individual freedom even though it is not formally empowered to do so, on the grounds that it is doing nothing which is prohibited. This was the main premise behind the case of Malone v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (1979). A significant change in the British position was made by the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998 (discussed below). The Act will make the European Convention on Human Rights (also discussed below) part of the law of the UK. While the Convention is currently part of the international law that is recognised by the UK, it had never been integrated into our domestic law. The European Convention on Human Rights was drawn up by the Council of Europe, which was established after the Second World War when countries tried to unite to prevent such horrors ever happening again. Signed in Rome in 1950, the Convention was ratified by the UK in 1951 and became binding on the UK in 1953. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the Convention rights are very loosely drafted and through their interpretation the judges could easily dilute them and render them ineffective. In conclusion, the lack of a Bill of Rights, as discussed above, leaves British citizens in a very uncomfortable position. By incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law through the Human Rights Act and not entrenching the Convention with a proper Bill of Rights, has enabled the executive to maintain the concept of parliamentary sovereignty. By doing so the executive has provided itself with several 'get-out-clauses' so that citizens rights may not be properly protected as the executive can itself remove certain rights as it sees fit. A good example of this is the situation at present where the government wishes to remove suspected terrorists right not to be detained without a fair trial. By entrenching the Convention UK citizens would have their rights protected and only through special procedures could parliament change such rights. Until this happens I do not believe that there will be a satisfactory situation within the UK, with regard to civil liberties. This essay comprehensively covers the factual areas of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and also covers various opinions regarding the possible impact of the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights on UK law and UK citizens. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Jury Essay

    This means that the jury may have reached their decision for the wrong reasons so the defendant has had an unfair trial. It was stated earlier that the fairness used in law is a good thing as it helps to keep equality in the case.

  2. Discuss whether incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into the domestic legislation ...

    Rights, which has the power to over rule decisions of the member states. The Court has taken a purposive approach to the interpretation of the Convention.4 Thus providing for more rights and freedoms. The court has heard 155 cases since January 2002 and as Bailey et al say this has

  1. Free essay

    heirachy of civil courts

    Appeals can be based on matters of law, fact or both. The court may uphold or reverse the decision of the lower court or substitute another judgement. It may order a new trial in a proper case. Appeal, which is usually only considered on points of law of public importance,

  2. Statutory interpretation

    stated 'We do not sit here to pull the language of Parliament to pieces and make nonsense of it. We sit here to find out the intention of Parliament and carry it out and we do this better by filling in the gaps and making sense of the enactment than by opening it up to destructive analysis'.

  1. Changes to the Canadian Charter

    and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability". However, it fails to list any other causes of discrimination such as marital status, employment, and most notable of lately, sexual orientation.

  2. unit6 end of unit assignment civil litigation

    Yours faithfully. Sonia Khan b) The CPR introduces what are called pre-action Protocols. These are very important and are designed to be sets of "best practice" guidance about those steps that should be taken by parties or their legal advisors before proceedings are instituted.

  1. Human Rights

    Amendment Act 1994. The "CST" Act was enacted to implement CROC Article 34 into Australian law. Although the sexual exploitation of children was already an offence under State criminal law, the CST Act was the first Australian statute to specifically address child sex tourism and prostitution.

  2. EU law and Human Rights

    Arguably one of the most important milestones in civil rights development has to be the inception of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). Originally signed in September 1953, it basically contained twelve Protocols which ensured a host of rights and liberties to European Union citizens.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work