The Human Rights Act is a law that aims to protect individuals from having their human rights taken away or interfered with by the state. The Human Rights Act has been in force in this country since 1 October 2000.
Under the HRA public bodies therefore have a legal duty to uphold human rights. A public body can be a local council, a government department or a health trust – and as a result all of us are protected. Therefore those accused of a crime, seeking refuge, homeless, spied upon, a victim of trafficking – then rights are protected under the HRA to be treated with dignity and respect.
The rights protected under the HRA mirror those in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It is argued that they are about justice and fairness. The rights included are issues such as the right to life; to free speech and private and family life. They mainly cover civil and political rights, but increasingly have been used creatively to try and argue for socio-economic rights such as a right to housing and social security.
What we seek to do
The protection of Human Rights informs the work that we do at the Public Interest Law Unit.
We provide human rights advice across all areas of public law. We have represented and advocated for human rights within our cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.