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THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998: AN OVERVIEW
The preamble to the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) describes it as 'an Act to give greater effect to rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights' (the Convention). To understand the HRA you need to now something about the history of the Convention.
THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
The Convention was drafted after the Second World War. British lawyers and civil servants were heavily involved in its drafting. The United Kingdom (UK) signed up to the Convention in 1953 and was one of the first countries to do so. In all, 45 countries have now signed up to the Convention including most of the east European, former communist countries and several countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. The countries that have signed up to the Convention make up the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe is quite separate from the European Union.
The Convention is divided into 'articles'. Articles 2 to 14 set out the rights that are protected by the Convention. Over the years the Convention has been supplemented by a number of protocols that have been agreed
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