Principles such as fairness, dignity, equality and respect constitute the basis of human rights. Human rights law was created to protect the individual in their everyday life regardless of who they might be, where they are and how they chose to go about their life. The human rights of people in countries that belong to the council of Europe, including the UK, are protected by The European Convention on Human Rights. The Human Rights Act 1998 protects UK citizens and gives emphasis on the rights established in the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights are also known as Convention rights.
If an individual’s human or convention rights have been breached, they can proceed to a UK court to take action under the Human Rights Act. And if necessary the individual can likewise take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Based in Strasbourg, France, The European Court of Human Rights ensures that all the countries within the Council of Europe, including the UK, abide by the European Convention on Human Rights. So for individuals who could not achieve the remedy that wished for in a UK court, they will always have the right to take their case to the court in Strasbourg, France. Any individual is permitted to bring their case to the European Court of Human Rights if they have taken their case as far as possible in a UK court. For example, if the individual has been refused the right to apply for a judicial review, their case has reached a final appeal, the UK court has made a declaration of incompatibility, or has been refused the right to appeal, they can then proceed to submit their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Regardless if the individual is a British citizen, a foreigner or expat or an asylum seeker, The Human Rights Act protects every individual on British soil. All public authorities, such as hospitals, the court or the police force, must submit to the Human Rights Act as it compels them to act in a way which is consistent and compatible with every individual’s human rights. Public authorities must incorporate the Human Rights act in every decision that is made about any individual, even when implementing policies and planning services. The police force for example must take positive steps to protect an individual who might be in danger and if this step is not taken, then they breach your right to life, under article 2.
Private organisations and other individuals are not subject to the same obligations as public authorities. Action cannot be taken against a person or private organisation under the claim of breaching human rights. However, if you have been unfairly treated by an employer for example, the court will examine whether your human rights have been breached and take that into account. As the court is a public authority, they must consider whether your human rights have been breached or not, and act respectively. In all cases that all courts deal with in the UK, whether against a public authority or between individuals, they must account for the law which is nearest to the Human Rights Act.
Any individual who wishes to take court action must bear in mind that it can be a very long, stressful and expensive process. And it is also important to consider that if a case is lost in court, then all legal costs have to be paid by the losing party. Before taking court action, it is highly advised that an individual gets advice or appoints an experienced solicitor or human rights lawyer to help guide and advise them throughout the process. Experienced teams located in London such as Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors can be of great help to provide the guidance and understanding of the law in its whole entirety. It is only by speaking to a team of professionals that are well versed with the law, that you will have the tools to move forward with your case or pending human rights situation. Essentially, human rights laws are established to guarantee basic rights and fundamental freedoms to all human beings equally and that every individual is born free and equal in rights.