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Flashcards in ECHR & Human Rights Act Deck (36)
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What are the 3 different types of rights?

Absolute, limited and qualified.


What are absolute rights?

These rights can never be interfered with in any circumstances whatsoever.


What are limited rights?

These rights can only be limited in clearly defined and finite situations.


What are qualified rights?

These rights require a balance between the rights of the individual and the wider public interest

and so may be interfered with to protect an important general interest or the rights of others.


What is Article 1?

The right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions.


What is Article 2?

The right to life.

Deprivation of life resulting from the use of no more force than is absolutely necessary in narrowly defined circumstances does not constitute an interference with this right.


What is Article 3?

The right to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.


What is Article 4?

The right to freedom from slavery etc

Certain activities are excluded from the scope of compulsory labour and so do not constitute an interference with this right.


What is Article 5?

The right to liberty and security of the person.
Limited - contains exceptions in relation to lawful arrest and detention.


What is Article 6?

The right to a fair trial.
Absolute as to a fair trial.

Limited in relation to the trial being in public.


What is Article 7?

The right to punishment according to existing law.

Article 7 does not preclude the trial and punishment of acts that are criminal according to the general principles recognised by civilised nations.


What is Article 8?

The right to respect for private and family life.


What is Article 9?

The right to freedom of thought etc
Absolute in relation to freedom of thought etc.

Qualified in relation to manifestation of freedom in worship, teaching, practice or observation.


What is Article 10?

The right to freedom of expression.


What is Article 11?

The right to freedom of assembly and association


What is Article 12?

The right to marry.
Absolute but according to national law governing the exercise of that right.


The absolute and limited rights which cover the most fundamental human rights and contain either no exceptions whatsoever or narrow express exceptions are...

Articles 2 - 7 and 12

The right to life (2)
Freedom from torture, in human and degrading treatment (3)
Freedom from slavery (4)
Liberty and security of the person (5) - Limited
Fair trial (6) - Absolute and Limited
Punishment according to existing law (7)
Right to marry (12)


The qualified rights (which can be overridden in the public interest) are...

Articles 8-11 and Article 1

Right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions (1)
Right to respect for private and family life (8)
Right to freedom of thought etc (9)
Right to freedom of expression (10)
Right to freedom of assembly and association (11)


How does a court determine whether the interference with a qualified right can be justified?

Qualifications must be expressed in the ECHR are recognised.

In addition a restriction may only be relied upon if it is;
- prescribed by law and
- has a legitimate aim and
- is necessary in a democratic society.

It must not be applied in a discriminatory fashion (i.e. the freedoms of the Convention must be secured without discrimination).


What does 'as prescribed by law' mean in relation to qualifications?

UK law has to clearly permit the infringement. It has to be embodied in law.

The law must be accessible (in published form), and sufficiently precise to enable the citizen to regulate his or her conduct.

Malone v UK - phone tapping. Law no clear enough on this issue to provide a sufficient legal basis for a restriction on the right to a private life (Art 8)

Purdy - MS sufferer - there was an absence of a crime specific policy regarding assisted suicide.


What is meant by 'legitimate aims'?

The principle is that the interests of society must justify the restrictions on the rights of individuals.


What are frequently specified in the Convention as legitimate state aims?

a) the interests of national security (e.g. Art 8)
b) the prevention of disorder or crime (Art 8 and 10)
c) the protection of health or morals (Art 8 and 10)
d) the protection of the rights or freedoms of others (Art 8)
e) the prevention or disclosure of information received in confidence (Art 10)
f) maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary (Art 10)


What is meant by a qualification having to be 'necessary in a democratic society'?

1. There must be a 'pressing social need' (rather than an absolute necessity for any restriction imposed)

2. The interference with the Convention right must be proportionate.

This means that in order to justify the restriction, public authorities may have to show that they have chosen methods of achieving legitimate aims which do not go further than necessary.

The state is allowed a 'margin of appreciation' in judging necessity (Handyside - no breach of Art 10 where UK obscenity laws prohibited publication of a sex manual for children).

The ECtHR will respect the judgment of a member state as to what the public interest requires.


What is a derogation?

Art 15 of ECHR - a state may derogate from part of the Convention 'in time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation'.

There are conditions which limit the power to derogate and no derogation is possible in relation to Art 3 (torture), Art 4 (slavery), Art 7 (retrospective criminal offences, or from Art 2 (right to life - except in respect of deaths resulting from lawful acts of war.

HRA 1998 Sec 14 - a UK court will not be able to enforce Convention rights where a derogation is in operation.


What does Section 2 of the HRA do? 'take into account'

It says that domestic courts must 'take into account' judgments of the ECtHR but are not bound by them.


What does Section 3 of the HRA do? 'sub leg must be read and given in a way that is compatible'

'So far as it is possible to do so, primary and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with Convention rights.'

Applies to past and future leg.


What does Sec 4 of the HRA do? 'incompatible'

The High Court and higher courts may declare an Act of P to be incompatible with Convention rights.


What does Sec 6 of the HRA do? 'unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with Convention rights....'

It is unlawful for a public authority (including a 'court') to act in a way which is incompatible with Convention rights (unless giving effect to an incompatible statute).

This affects grounds of challenge in judicial review of administrative acts.


What does Sec 7 of the HRA say? 'victim'

A person who claims that brings proceedings against the authority or relies on the Convention right in any legal proceedings must be 'a victim of the unlawful act'.


What does Sec 8 of the HRA say? May award damages....

That a court in civil proceedings may award damages where public authority unlawfully infringes a Convention right, if it is necessary to 'afford just satisfaction' to the injured party.