Tag Archives: 1998

Human Rights Monitoring and Data Protection

This is sponsored by Notary Public solicitors London

Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) came into force on 2.10.2000

Purpose It incorporates into domestic law the European Convention for the Protection of

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (the Convention)

Main Purpose

The mainstay of the HRA 1998 is that it permits victims to sue public authorities. It creates a

new free-standing cause of action for the victims of unlawful acts by public authorities.

Victims would also be entitled to rely on their Convention rights in proceedings brought against

them, or in conjunction with other existing causes of action – for example breach of contract or

unfair dismissal claims.)

Section 6 provides that it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible

with Convention rights. It allows ‘victims’ who claim that a public authority has acted (or

proposes to act) unlawfully to bring proceedings in the ‘appropriate court or tribunal’.

The Schedules

Schedule 1 to HRA 1998 sets out the relevant Convention rights which are to be

protected under the Act.

Section 3 states that ‘so far as it is possible to do so’ primary and secondary legislation

must be read and given effect to in a way which is compatible with the

Convention rights; this includes (s 2) taking account of any judgments and

decisions of the ECHR.

The Purposive Approach In order to give effect to the spirit of the Convention, UK courts

and tribunals will have to adopt a ‘purposive’ approach to the

interpretation of such legislation.

HRA effect on TUPE The House of Lords in Litster v Forth Dry Dock and Engineering Co Ltd

(see 7.3.2) had to put a very strained interpretation on TUPE in order to

make them comply with the Acquired Rights Directive which they were

intended to implement.

Principle

Most human rights cases are not about whether the right exists but whether there has been

an interference with the right and whether that interference is legitimate and necessary. That will

involve questions of proportionality and relevance being considered.

Human rights cases are not about whether the right exists but whether there has been an

interference with the right and whether that interference is legitimate and necessary. That will

involve questions of proportionality and relevance being considered.

Retrospective Claims

It has now been settled by two cases (R v Lambert [2001] and Pearce v Governing Body of

Mayfield Secondary School [2001]) that the Act does not apply retrospectively to the acts of

courts or tribunals that took place before the Act came into force (2.10.2000).