Human Rights Act/ Bill of Rights

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2010
Question 7
Discuss the case for replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) is the single most effective piece of legislation, passed in the United Kingdom, which enforced the principles set out in European Convention on Human Rights in British domestic courts. A brief history as to the enactment of such a profound piece of legislation will help us understand the importance of the Human Rights Act 1998, and reasons the current coalition government would consider replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. After World War 2, and the barbaric atrocities of the Nazi holocaust, European politicians and jurist were convinced that there was a need to forge a new Europe. The foundation of the Council of Europe was inspired by the need to guard against dictatorship, avoid risk of another war and to provide a beacon of hope. The first task was to establish rights for individuals against sovereign states. The code of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) was formed, and the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) was established and located in Strasbourg. This treaty was signed by member states. However, British nationals who wanted to enforce their rights did not have any recourse in domestic courts and had to travel to Strasbourg to bring a case if rights were infringed upon. It was time consuming, far and expensive. The enforcement of the HRA 1998 effectively, ‘Brought Rights Home’. ART 2 Right to life, ART 3 freedom from torture, ART 4 Prohibition of Slavery, ART 5 right to Liberty, ART 6 Right to a fair trial, ART 7 Prohibition of retrospective legislation, ART 8 Right to private and family life, ART 9 Freedom of conscience and religion, ART 10 Freedom of expression, ART 11 Freedom of Assembly, ART 12 Right to marry and found family, Art 14 Freedom from discrimination. Over the years, post 9/11, it has become great concern...
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