Bill of Rights


Positives for HRA '98


  • Requires Ministers to a statement of compatibility S.19
  • Permits courts to declare a Declaration of Incompatibility(sS4) and allows for a speedy amendment by Order of the Council(S.10) A + Other, Bulmer v Bollinger
  • S.6 requires public authorities to act consistently with the convention. Douglas + Others v Hello!
  • HRA Recognised as a constitutional statute, meaning a higher status. It needs to be repealed openly and not got rid of through the back door (A.V. Dicey- Joseph Raz_
  • Litigants can argue convention points in domestic courts
  • Judiciary are now more robust to defend and safeguard human rights by using S.3 as seen in R v A
  • HRA has been effective in building an awareness of Human Rights.
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  • Positives of the Bill of Righst
  • People have fundamental rights, the infringement of which should be illegal. Based on the principle 'do as you would be done by;. These rights need to be enshrined in a legal document
  • A system where changes are agreed upon by Parliament and constituted specualists in conjunction would enable ossified and out of date rights to be eliminated. Such as the right to own slaves was in the USA Bill
  • The common law does not provide adequate protection of basic human rights Saltman Engineering.
  • The courts require a clear direction about what rights should be protected, should not rely on precedent and legislative whim S.3 Purposive Approach


  • In accordance with the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy, Parliament cannot bind it's successors s the HRA can potentially by repealed
  • Not entrenched and considered as a constituational Bill of Rights. This makes it's position inherently weak as seen in Cameron's recent proposal to suspend the HRA to deport Abu Quatada
  • Lord Denning in McCarthy v Smith and Lord Diplock in Garland v British Rail & Engirneering believe Parliament had power to repealconservatives who want to remove the HRA
  • Political Reality shows a shift by
  • Disadvantages within the act:
  • The HRA did not encorporate A.13 Right to an effective remedy for the ECHR meaning we do not need to effectively give prisoners the right to vote Hirst v UK- McGeoth & Chester
  • S.4, where a DI can be issued, Parliament do not have to correct the legislation
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  • Disadvantages of the Bill of Rights
  • Many countries do without a bill of rights. Problem of freedom of speech resolved in Campbell
  • A bill may enshrine bad principles or those that will change in the future, which binds them, contraining moral growth. Right to arm a gun
  • Common law can protect rights as seen in Douglas v Others
  • Will impede the ability of the police to control crime as seen by the Terrorism Act S.44
  • Would increase the amount of litigation in courts
  • Will give more power to the judiciary as seen in RvA
  • If certain rights are left out of the bill they may be seen as having less value H


Bill of Rights 1688 and Act of Settlement 1701 are still in effect. The Bill of Rights sets out that there should be no royal interference with freedom to petition the monarch without fear of retribution.US- Their constitution contains an entrenched Bill of Rights which cannot be repealed unless there is unanimous consent from all states.UK Unwritten constitution containing an entrenched bill of rights which is the Human Rights Act '98 as implemented by the ECHR. Prior to the, rights could only be enforced in Strasbourg meaning a presumption of conflict R v Secretary of Home Dept ex parte Brind.The Commision which underwent an investigation to see if the UK was ready for a bill of rights came back and said it's not the right time yet. Lady Hale said that judges would regret a Human Rights repealHowever the government are looking towards reform and due to Parliamentary sovereignty there is no safeguard. 


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