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In What Ways and to What Extent Is the Human Rights Act Controversial?

Essay by   •  November 2, 2017  •  Essay  •  549 Words (3 Pages)  •  730 Views

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The human rights, brought forth through the human rights act 1998, is a collection of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Act gives effect to rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention and allows UK citizens to defend their rights in UK court. However the human rights act is viewed as controversial to many people.

One way in which the human right act is controversial is because it is enforced by the European court. As this is an external court it can be believed that the European court is belittling the UK government but controlling what their human rights are. As well as this, it means that the acts aren’t expressly personalised to relate to British citizens meaning certain acts may be less applicable in Britain than they would be in other European countries. This brings forth controversy as essentially, British human rights are made by non-British citizens.

As well as this, the human rights act includes that prisoners should be given the vote. This is seen as controversial because the vote shouldn’t be allocated to those who have broken the law. This then causes controversy as people begin to believe that the vote can be awarded to any degenerate meaning a countries government has been chosen by those who do not accept society’s laws. Both the previous Labour government and the coalition have failed to legislate although various proposals have been debated in an attempt to end the long- row with. This shows the human rights act to be controversial as it is giving power to those who have essentially given up their right to have it swell as it being an issue that people are continuously trying to solve

As well as this, the human rights act can be seen as controversial as it brings across the idea that judges are essentially making the law. This strikes controversy as because judges are unelected and unaccountable, it shouldn’t be their right to have control over this. Also as they are unaccountable, decisions they make are not direct consequential to them.

However, the human rights act can also be viewed as not controversial. One reason that the human rights act is not controversial is because a majority of the rights stated in the ECHR are already present in UK common law, meaning the European rights don’t differ to those that the UK has chosen for its self. This limits the controversial nature of the human rights act as it shows that the rights the UK is “forced” to have

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