The Incorporation of the Human Right Act into British Law
The Human Rights Act came in force in 2000 and has been successful in
UK. This is because after a year Michael Beloff QC pointed out in The
Times that 15% of the cases brought in the high court with Human
Rights Act implication had been successful. The Act has the effect of
in cooperating the European convention on Human Rights into British
law. The home secretary Jack Straw said “these are the new rights for
the new millennium. The Human Rights Act is the most important peace
of constitutional legislation the UK has ever seen”.
A citizen is a member of state who expects the state to protect them
but also has duties towards it. Being a good citizen means
contributing to society and follows the law. Jack Straw described this
as “Rights flow from duties-not the other way around. One person’s
freedom is another person’s responsibility”.
The main reason for the new Human Rights bill is to protect citizens
and their civil liberties under three categories-: fundamental rights
such as to life, procedural rights such as the right to trail and
qualified rights such as the freedom of expression. The Human Right
Act is not a technical peace of law. Its interpretation will require a
broad focus-a big change for our court. Jack Straw said that the Act
“should not be taken as a failed day for lawyers… a major step change
in a creation of a culture of rights and responsibilities in our
society. Currently there is a supremely of parliament over the
judiciary. Parliaments make laws and the judiciary interpret them. But
with the new bill, there is going to be a sharing of sovereignty with
the British judiciary.
These rights clash with the sovereignty of parliament because
sovereignty means that there is nothing that can blind our parliament.
But the Human Rights Act tries to do this. When the Human Rights Act
really gets going, judges will be involved in political cases. For
example, they may consider laws which extend police power, or which
limit freedom of the press. Although they cannot set them aside, they
will be able to criticise the government. In cases where the Human
Rights Act is involved, judges may have to decide what the act means.
For example, when are the newspapers allowed to invade people’s
privacy? The judges would have to decide what discriminated against by
an employer and not getting equal pay. The judges would have to decide
what is meant by equal pay.
Since the act was passed in October 2000, prisoners gained rights to
vote in general elections. The Home Secretary can now decide or to set
a mandatory sentence, before judges used to decide this given a
minimum and maximum number of years. Hanging people goes against the
The judiciary already had great range of political power. It can