Human rights are some basic rights consisting of protections and freedoms that are entitled to every individual – regardless of who and where they are – in the world. These rights are based upon five important principles: Participation, Accountability, Non-discrimination and Equality, Empowerment and Legality, often called as PANEL. The need to establish a human rights-based approach guarantees people the means essential to satisfy their primary and basic necessities. By guaranteeing life, liberty, equality, and security, human rights protect people against abuse by those who are more powerful. These and other human rights are embarked in the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights agreed by governments in 1948, in subsequent international and regional human rights agreements, and in the constitutions and laws of many countries around the world, including the UK.
In connection to the aforementioned details, written in this article are the UK’s basic human rights that are protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. The Act was approved by Parliament in the year 1998 and became law in 2000 by the collective efforts of human rights supporters. Purposely, the Act allows people to secure their rights within the UK premises and summons reported violations of those rights in courts for investigation, in order to hold those responsible to account through a legal and lawful manner.
The UK Human Rights Act sets out the person’s human rights in a series of ‘Articles’. Each Article deals with various rights. These are all retrieved from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), commonly known as ‘the Convention Rights’ – an international agreement designed to protect and strengthen the human rights of people across Europe. And its authority comes from an entirely separate European institution, the Council of Europe.
Part I of The Convention Rights and Freedoms in the UK’s legislation mainly includes the Right to life; Prohibition of torture; Prohibition of slavery and forced labor; Right to liberty and security; Right to a fair trial; No punishment without law; the right to Respect for private and family life; the right to Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; Freedom of expression; Freedom of assembly and association; Right to marry; Prohibition of discrimination; Restrictions on political activity of aliens; Prohibition of abuse of rights; and Limitation on use of restrictions on rights.
Article 2 (Right to life) in the UK’s Human Rights Act protects the person’s right to life, which is a supreme law that highlights certain priority moral values that cannot be identified with any actual set of institutionalized rights and duties. The law in this Article says that, firstly, “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which the penalty is provided by law.” Secondly, “Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary: (a) in defense of any person from unlawful violence, (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained, and (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.
On the other hand, Part II of the UK’s Human Rights Act in The First Protocol constitutes Articles 1, 2 and 3 – which are the secondary or sanctioning rights of a human being – namely: Protection of property; Right to education; and Right to free elections. Lastly, the Article 1 of the Thirteenth Protocol labelled as Abolition of the death penalty which allows abolishing death penalty because no one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed – as what Article 2 of The Convention Rights and Freedom emphasizes.
Three effects of the UK Human Rights Act provide justice, respect, and assurance that new laws are compatible with convention rights. Anyone living in the UK can seek justice in a British court as it incorporates the rights set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law. The act also requires all public bodies such as courts, police, local authorities, hospitals and publicly funded schools) and other bodies carrying out public functions to respect and protect their human rights. Also, in practice it means that Parliament will nearly always make sure that new laws are compatible with the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, although Parliament can pass laws which are incompatible due to its sovereignty. The courts will also, where possible, interpret laws in a way which is compatible with Convention rights.
The Human Rights Act protects everyone in the UK. It doesn’t matter if – for example, one is a British citizen, a foreigner or an asylum seeker. It demonstrated that far from undermining the rights of ordinary people as some critics claim, the UK’s human rights framework has helped protect and improve their rights, for more detailed info please reach out and consult with an experienced human rights lawyer for more clarification on the law.