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According to how the state is governed, a constitution sets fundamental
established precedents to codified its citizens’ basic rights. Therefore, those
principles are set of legal and comprehensive documents, in which may be said to
embody a codified constitution. Although a codified constitution does not exist
in the necessary of the United Kingdom, controversially because the UK remained
free of the revolutionary fervour, it is an essential to many countries such as
the United States of America to step towards the independent. For instance, the
first ten amendments to the US Constitution make up the Bill of Rights, written
by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater
constitutional protection for individual liberties. The Bill of Rights list
specific prohibitions on government power. For example, Amendment I ‘Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech’. Thus, the U.S.
Constitution is well protected from change due to transient opinion by the
amendment process called the entrenchment, and this provision makes certain
amendment either more difficult or impossible to pass. The UK parliament, in
contrast, need a majority of 51% votes in the Parliament to dispose or impose
of the Act, frequently to the Human Rights, as its uncodified constitution is
not entrenched.

 

In a similar manner to the U.S. Bill of Rights, the European Convention
of Human Rights (ECHR) is broadly drafted terms. However, the European
Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has an essential role for the development and
awareness of Human Rights in Europe. The initial development of a regional
system of human rights protection operating, drawing on the inspiration of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), can be seen as a direct response
to the aftermath of the Second World War. In fact, the serious human rights
violations mostly occurred during that time, and should be avoided in the
future such as the repetition of genocide or holocaust. Another concern was a
response to the growth of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and designed
to protect the member states of the Council of Europe from the communist
subversion.

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To avoid series of the violations in the past, these are considering as
the key rights contained in the ECHR. Article 2, ‘The right to life’, is the
most fundamental rights enshrined in the ECHR; connotes that nobody – including
the government – may have the ability to end your life. This also means the
government should take appropriate measures to safeguard life by making laws to
protect you and, in some circumstances, to protect your life if at risk. Article
3, ‘Prohibition of torture’, is certainly important considering the
consequences it has for centuries when torture was legalised. This means that
nowadays nobody cannot torture, be inhuman, or degrading treatment – as the
government must actively ensure that torture and ill-treatment never arise and
carry out effective illness mentally and physically. Article 4, ‘Prohibition of
slavery and forced labour’, is considered significant considering the fact that
many places, no exception to the UK, are contained domestic work forces,
prostitution, and illegal drug trade – mostly in hidden places. If the law is
applicable in those places, the act means to protect a person who entitles to
enslaved or made to work against his/her will. Article 6, ‘Right to a fair
trial’, entitles a person to be heard in public by an unbiased – that is,
independent and impartial – judge in a reasonable amount of time. This means
that a person is entitle for a trial and to legal defence if accused of a crime
he/she is innocent until proved guilty; everyone has a right to consult with
their lawyers. However, if there is a case where a person is incapable of
afford legal fees, the state will have to involve for solutions. Article 10,
‘Freedom of Expression’, means that any person is entitle for their opinions
and share them with others in any circumstances. Free speech is essential to
life in a democratic society, presumably because a presenter can report freely
on public interest issues and even offensive speech attracts a level of protection.
The free speech may be the result of the incredibly changes in legal procedure.

 

The role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECt.HR) is to ensure
that our religious and civil rights are not breach by our Government and that
people treated as human beings. The Court consists of 46 Judges, one for each
country that has signed the European Human Rights Convention; they are elected
by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to serve 6 years’ terms.
Even if the judges come from different countries, they won’t be representing
their countries’ interests in the court and must be completely impartial.

 

The Human Rights Act 1998 partly became part of English domestic law,
and directly enforceable in the UK courts fully on the 2nd October
2000. However, the Acts are essentially lead to some changes of the way the UK
system of justice works, and makes public authorities more responsible for
their decisions. Under the Human Rights Act, the principle is that all public
authorities must act compatibly with the human rights standards contained
within it. Recently, a person who presumably has their Human Rights violated
can assert their appeals in all UK courts and tribunals without, or either,
having to pursue the appeal in Strasbourg, France.

 

Although the Parliament is sovereign, and could pass any proper laws it
though, without being challenge by the legality of legislation. Nonetheless,
the HRA 1998 has significantly altered of the Act. Even if the courts hold a
primary legislation that does not comply with the provision of the ECHR, but
that court can issue a declaration of incompatibility stating that the Act
breaches the provision of the convention. Because the Human Rights Act 1998
provides a fast-track procedure for changing any Act subsequently found to be
incompatible with the convention, there is a high chance that a judicial
declaration of impartibility would lead to an alteration of the Act. It is
important because it requires the minister to introduce a bill to parliament to
make a statement; the bill is compatible with the convention. The government
nevertheless wishes the House to proceed with the bill. Parliament will
therefore not legislate incompatibly with the convention, without being
absolutely clear that it is compatible.

 

The blanket ban of the prisoner participating in election is another
recent and controversial example of how the UK government must adjust the law
to be compatible with the Human Rights Act. According to the guardian (2017),
the case was challenged by John Hirst, who won a case in the ECHR in Strasbourg
with an appeal that a ban on voting was contrary to the fundamental Human
Rights of Protocol 1, Article 3, which guarantees the right to free and fair
elections. In 2005, the ECHR decisively declared that the blanket ban on
prisoners participating in elections violated human rights and was illegal.
After being refused to enforce the ruling of the ECHR in subsequent of
twelve-years, the UK finally considering to adopt a compromise which apply to
those serving sentences of less than a year and on day release, “We will work
with the judiciary to change the warrant of committal to ensure that prisoners
are individually notified of their disenfranchisement,” a UK note to Strasbourg
explained. However, the case is an example of approximately within the 90% of
cases UK complies with the ruling of the European court of Human Rights.

 

The ruling of the ECHR has on the UK judicial system in the result of
law changing can be seen in several significant cases. For example, ‘Dudgeon v.
United Kingdom (1981)’, the defences were criminalised in Northern Ireland by
the punishment of imprison as an allegation of male homosexual of their sexual
activities in their private and each party consented. The ECHR declared that
his right to respect for private life had been violated, and was the first time
the ECHR protected Gay Rights. As a result, Northern Ireland decriminalised
consensual male homosexual acts, and this led to a decision to change in law in
the Republic of Ireland.

 

Another example can be seen in a case, ‘R (RH) v. MHRT, North and East
London region (2001)’, the defence has suffered from schizophrenia and goes to
a secure mental hospital, where he starts to recover. He argues, the law is
against him; it said that he must prove himself alleviates from the symptoms,
even if he has been affected by mental health problems since childhood. It is
an almost impossible as he might face confinement to the rest of his life. As a
result, the ECHR declared that this violated the Human Rights, Article 5 that
it is inapplicable for the patient to prove the threat of his own symptom. Instead,
it must be the authorities who must take the action to prove their patient.
This leads to a changing of the law as to how the government must give mentally
ill patients greater protection of their human rights, including the right not
be confine with burden on them to prove their sanity.

 

The referred cases so far have been clearly, more or less, beneficial to
those who have been served unfairness. Therefore, the negative aspects of the
Human Rights Act appear to have negatively impact on the UK system of justice
works, more on its society and citizens. The example can be found in the case
of Abu Qatada v. UK (2012). Abu Qatada, a terrorism offense, was among a large
group of Islamists who sought refuge in the UK during the late 1980s and the
1990s. Under the UK immigration law, Abu Qatada must be deporting to Jordan if
convicted any serious offense in the land. However, he argued that The Court of
Appeal rules will breach his Human Rights, Article 3, as the evidence to be
used against him in Jordan may have been obtained through torture. After years
of legal battles, the UK immigration law required to be adjust to the Special
Immigration Appeals Commission approved the treaty drawn up between the
Jordanian and the UK Government that Abu Qatada would not be torture by his
native Jordan. Finally, the treaty becomes law in the UK as the deportation
proceeded.

 

Another significant case that negatively impact on the citizens
according to Human Rights Act can be found in R (Nicklinson) v. Ministry of
Justice. Tony Nicklinson had suffered from catastrophic injury and a terrible
stroke. He’d never recovered and living with locked-in syndrome. He campaigned
for the right to be allowed to choose the moment of his death but therefore
refused by the law as incompatible with the Human Rights Act, Article 2,
Nicklinson lost his fight against a desire to end his life by the help of his
loved ones or doctor. The case shows the change in the UK current murder law infringed
the right to life as part of the ECHR. Before the present law, a common law
defence of necessity against any possible murder charge. 

 

To conclude, I mostly agree that the establishment of the Human Rights
Act on the European Convention on Human Rights has tremendous impact on the UK
law and how the system of justice operates. Many cases show the positive and
negative affects the Human Rights Act has as the consequences. However, many
argue that the Human Rights Act brought up many insignificant appeals to the UK
courts and deposed many valuable Acts. But I believe that the Human Rights Act
has also positively impact the change of the UK law in which comply mostly with
the modern society and the right of the human beings.  

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