Human Rights Act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998 United Kingdom Parliament Long title
: An Act to give further effect to rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights; to make provision with respect to holders of certain judicial offices who become judges of the European Court of Human Rights; and for connected purposes.
The Human Rights Act 1998
is an Act of Parliament
of the United Kingdom
which received Royal Assent
on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000.
Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights
. The Act makes available in UK courts a remedy for breach of a Convention right, without the need to go to the European Court of Human Rights
. It also totally abolished the death penalty in UK law (although this was not required by the Convention in force for the UK at that time).
In particular, the Act makes it unlawful for any public body to act in a way which is incompatible with the Convention, unless the wording of an Act of Parliament means they have no other choice. It also requires UK judges to take account of decisions of the Strasbourg court
, and to interpret legislation, as far as possible, in a way which is compatible with the Convention. However, if it is not possible to interpret an Act of Parliament so as to make it compatible with the Convention, the judges are not allowed to override it. All they can do is issue a declaration of incompatibility
. This declaration does not affect the validity of the Act of Parliament: in that way, the Human Rights Act seeks to maintain the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty
(see: Constitution of the United Kingdom
). An individual can still take his case to the Strasbourg court as a last resort.
means; To restore to useful life, as through therapy and education
or To restore to good condition, operation, or capacity
The assumption of rehabilitation is that people are not natively criminal
and that it is possible to restore a criminal to a useful life, to a life in which they contribute to themselves and to society. Rather than punishing the harm out of a criminal, rehabilitation would seek, by means of education or therapy, to bring a criminal into a more normal state of mind, or into an attitude which would be helpful to society, rather than be harmful to society.This theory of punishment is based on the notion that punishment is to be inflicted on an offender so as to reform him/her, or rehabilitate them so as to make their re-integration into society easier. Punishments that are in accordance with this theory are community service, probation orders, and any form of punishment which entails any form of guidance and aftercare towards the offender.
This theory is founded on the belief that one cannot inflict a severe punishment of imprisonment and expect the offender to be reformed and to be able to re-integrate into society upon his release. Although the importance of inflicting punishment on those persons who breach the law, so as to maintain social order, is retained, the importance of rehabilitation is also given priority. Humanitarians have, over the years, supported rehabilitation as an alternative, even for capital punishment.