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

How are human rights protected in the UK system? What is the basic relationship between the UK courts and Strasbourg?

Extracts from this document...


How are human rights protected in the UK system? What is the basic relationship between the UK courts and Strasbourg? When considering how human rights are protected in the UK, it is important to consider how traditional approaches to human rights protection have proved ineffective. The Diceyan approach stated that common law protected human rights, allowing people to be as 'free' as they like, as long as the law allowed them to be (i.e. Entick v Carrington [1765). This reliance on common law proved to be ineffective in protecting human rights for a number of reasons. If the common law allows citizens to be 'free' to anything not prohibited by law, the same applies to the Government, which may violate individual freedom in this manner (i.e. Malone v Metropolitan Police Commissioner). Additionally, while Parliament in previous centuries could provide a 'watchdog' on executive power, this is no longer the case in the 20th/21st century where the party system has lead to majority based governments that can enact statutory legislation with minimal restrictions. ...read more.


The addition of the Human Rights Act (HRA) [1998] allowed for Convention rights to be enforced in the domestic courts, thus removing the need for an individual to go Strasbourg to enforce their Convention rights and incorporating the ECHR into domestic law. The Act has been a substantial addition to the protection of human rights. Despite the government's insistence that the HRA would not allow courts to strike down primary legislation, section 3 allows courts to make declarations of incompatibility with the ECHR (as observed over the Mental Health Act 1983). This feature counters the modern concern of an overtly powerful government. It does not diminish parliamentary power to pass Acts of Parliament, but legislation ruled incompatible is highly damaged and will require revision or suffer from wide technical difficulties. The Human Rights Act, while not being a comprehensive protectorate of human rights, is nonetheless essential in this respect and adds extra weight to the Diceyan concept that common law can protect individual rights. ...read more.


Firstly, the European court ensures that Human rights as stated in the ECHR are adhered to by States under its jurisdiction. Secondly, this has lead to legislative changes in the UK system based on cases ruled in breach of the ECHR (i.e. Dudgeon v UK lead to the Homosexual Offences Order 1982). However, this seemingly powerful influence of Strasbourg is not comprehensive as the UK government has the ability to not give European Court decisions any effect (i.e. Adulaziz v UK, Brogan v UK). It can be argued that the relationship between the UK and Strasbourg 'skeletal' in nature, as the UK has ensured it retains 'parliamentary sovereignty' and ultimate power over how individual rights are treated. The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (detention without trial of terrorist suspects) highlighted the government's ability to deviate from Convention principles. Despite this, it is indisputable that the HRA, the ECHR and the Strasbourg institutions act as vital checks and remedies to the potential abuses of human rights in the UK, where the legislature is underlined by the concept that it is unequivocally 'supreme'. John Tippett-Cooper ...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. Free essay

    heirachy of civil courts

    cases valued between �25,000 and �50,000, are usually dealt with in the county court but may be dealt with in the high court, usually on the grounds of complexity. Appeal lies from the high court to the court of appeal.

  2. "In form, the Human Rights Act (HRA) is compatible with parliamentary sovereignty. In practice, ...

    Although the HRA does not empower courts to question the legality of primary legislation, it does offer the opportunity to challenge a statute's legitimacy through section 4's device - the declaration of incompatibility. This novel remedy applies where a court cannot interpret a statutory provision in a way which is compatible with a Convention right.

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

    it was not recognised by the national courts as part of English law. UK citizens who believe that their rights under the Convention had been breached could not bring their claim through the normal domestic courts, but had to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights; if

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

    resulted in the UK changing its own domestic legislation on several occasions5 including the law relating to homosexuality in Northern Ireland being brought into line with the rest of the UK and dropping the policy stopping homosexuals joining the armed forces; This from the case of Saunders v UK6.

  1. How has the European Court of Human Rights contributed to the protection of children's ...

    1917 - state obligation to protect child from all forms of ill-treatment18 - and UN Committee observations is in Kilkelly's view evident of Court's dynamic approach19. Indeed, not only did the Court in Tyrer v. UK20, holding judicial punishment to be incompatible with Art.

  2. Outcome (3): Analyse the provisions relating to the police powers of arrest, search, seizure, ...

    If a reasonable ground of suspicion does exist a police constable has the right to detain someone to search them. However, they do not have the right stop or detain someone in order to find grounds for a search. A person being search can either be under arrest or a free person.

  1. Are the Human Rights Act 1998 and the doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy compatible?

    The inclusion of Sections 3(2)(b) and (c) in the Human Rights Act means that; " Under the Act, if Parliament has explicitly and clearly enacted a provision that runs contrary to the Convention, it nevertheless remains fully valid and effective as law." 7 Therefore, parliamentary supremacy is upheld, for if an interpretation that follows the

  2. Evaluate the extent to which the Human Right Act 1998 is consistent with the ...

    respects the British tradition of Parliamentary democracy and does not empower the judiciary to strike down an Act and to this extent it gives a weaker power to the Convention rights to that which it accords the Community law under section 2 of the European Community Acts 1972.

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