Assess The Impact Of The Human Rights Act 1998, In

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The Human Rights Act gives every citizen a clear statement of rights and responsibilities. And it requires all of us in public services to respect human rights in everything we do" (Blair 1999: 1). This was a statement made by the Prime Minister just a year before the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998. This came into force on the 2nd of October 2000, incorporating the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). This is an international treaty that was drafted on the 4th of November 1950 by the Council of Europe, a regional body that now comprises 46 member states. The body principally responsible for the interpretation and application of the Convention is the European Court of Human Rights, which sits inStrasbourg. The Convention's first Article obliges all signatory countries to secure the rights included in its clauses for everyone in their jurisdiction. Therefore, apart from effective laws, member states need to establish procedures that provide effective remedies in case a right protected in the ECHR is breached. However, for the UK, the Act was meant to become something more than a piece of primary legislation. In the absence of a written Constitution, the government hoped that the Act will become the first Bill of Rights for both UK citizens and all peoples living in Britain. It was also anticipated that it will give to UK citizens a new symbol that would unite them under one common vision; that of human

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