The Human Rights Act 1998

Ensuring rights for all

The Human Rights Act is possibly the most important piece of legislation in the UK regarding human rights. It came into effect in 2000 and is concerned with enforcing the terms of European Convention on Human Rights in UK Law. In this section you will find advice and information on several aspects of the Act, including:

  • how the Act works
  • taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights
  • rights under the Convention.

If you need more detailed legal advice on your human rights, Instant Law Line offers legal advice over the telephone from just £7.99 a month.

The Origin of the Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act came into effect in October 2000, having been made law two years earlier.

The purpose of the act was to officially make most of the rights granted by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) a part of UK law. The ECHR, which itself came into effect back in 1953, had granted UK citizens with basic human rights long before the introduction of the HRA.

However, the ECHR was not officially recognised in UK law, meaning that if a UK citizen believed that his or her rights had been violated, they would need to take their case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

With the HRA in effect, UK citizens can settle their human rights' cases in domestic courts, without having to leave the country. Complainants can still take their cases to Strasbourg, but the European Court of Human Rights will only consider a case once it has been through the UK courts.

Share your experiences

Please note: The views expressed in community areas of this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of Law on the Web, its owners, its staff or contributors.

Get unlimited telephone legal advice
Instant Law Line Business
Licence Assist
I found Law on the Web to be very informative when looking for a solicitor to do our family will. It helped me find key information fast and when getting in contact with a solicitor I already had some knowledge on the subject and could focus in on what we needed. Thanks for all your hard work.
David Doulton, Long Ashton, Somerset May 2012

  Have you got a minute for a quick question?

Thank you for your response.