Responding To The Human Rights Act

Published date01 March 2000
Date01 March 2000
DOI10.1177/026455050004700110
Subject MatterArticles
53
PRACTICE
NOTE
Responding
To
The
Human
Rights
Act
The
Human
Rights
Act
1998
will
require
all
public
bodies
to
examine
their
policies
and
procedures
to
ensure
compatibility
with
the
European
Convention
on
Human
Rights.
Susan
Wallace
considers
the
implications
for
social
work
and
probation
services,
concluding
that
the
Convention
will
strengthen
ethical
practice.
ctober
2000
will
see
the
implementation
of
the
Human
Rights
Act
1998
(The
Act),
the
most
significant
statement
of
human
rights
this
country
has
seen
in
modem
times
(Wadham
and
Mountfield,
1999).
The
Act
will
effectively
make
it
easier for
citizens
to
challenge
the
actions
of
the
State
and
its
institutions
if
they
fail
to
match
up
to
the
European
Convention
on
Human
Rights
(The
Convention).
The
latter
guarantees
basic
civil,
political,
social
and
economic
rights,
some
absolute,
such
as
Freedom
from
Torture
as
laid
down
in
Article
3;
others
subject
to
some
limitations
and
qualification.
In
such
cases,
the
Convention
will
seek
to
balance
the
rights
of
the
individual
against
other
public
interests
(Harris
et
al,
1995). For
example,
The
Right
to
Respect
for
Private
and
Family
Life
(Article
8)
is
qualified
by
the
proviso
that
interference
by
a
public
body
is
permissible
if,
for
instance,
it
is
in
the
interests
of
the
prevention
of
crime
or
the
protection
of
the
rights
and
freedoms
of
others.
The
Right
to
Freedom
of
Expression
(Article
10)
similarly
illustrates
that
the
individual’s
rights
are
subject
to
certain
restrictions
if,
for
example,
they
are
in
conflict
with
national
security,
the
prevention
of
crime
or
public
safety.
However,
the
Convention
establishes
benchmarks
below
which
standards
will
not
be
allowed
to
fall
and,
as
of
October
2000,
challenges
can
be
heard
at
all
levels
of
domestic
courts.
Rather
uniquely,
the
parts
of
the
Act
relating
to
criminal
proceedings
have
been
in
force
in
Scotland
since
20
May
1999;
these
include
Articles
5-7:
7he
Right
to
Liberty
and
Security,
The
Right
to
a
Fair
Trial,
and
No
Punishment
without
Lawful
Authority.
Already
there
have
been
challenges
heard
in
the
Scottish
Courts.
For
example,
in
July
1999
a
successful
challenge
to
the
refusal
of
bail
was
heard
at
the
High
Court
of
Criminal
Appeal.
How
Will
We
Be
Affected?
All
existing
and
new
legislation
will
have
to
be
scrutinised
in
order
to
ensure
that
it
is
compatible
with
the
Convention.
For

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT