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The first 200 words of this essay...
In English law, there is no formal separation of public and private law, no constitutional court and before the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 there has been no catalogue of fundamental rights as it can be found in many continental European constitutional documents. The major source of fundamental rights in English law is now undoubtedly the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) which implements the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into English law, which came into force on 2 October 2000.
In accordance with the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the HRA has no higher status than other Acts of Parliament. It is not possible for courts to override primary legislation that is incompatible with convention rights, or to declare it unconstitutional. This is portrayed in s 4 of the act which empowers the courts to declare that primary legislation is incompatible with the ECHR. This declaration, however, does not affect the validity, continuing operation and enforcement of the provision in question which remains even applicable to the case in question.
The primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Convention is placed on 'public authorities', s. 6 HRA 1998. Section 6 (1) of the Human
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