Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helene Tyrrell
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) was a cornerstone of New Labour’s constitutional reforms. By incorporating elements of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law, the HRA represented a voluntary surrender of government power and contributed to a significant rebalancing of the relationship between the individual and the state. Yet, two decades on, the HRA has excited such opposition that the electoral majority is courted with promises of its repeal. This chapter traces the contours of hostility towards the HRA, focusing on three themes: (i) New Labour’s own internal struggle over individual rights protections; (ii) the foreignness of the HRA; and (iii) complaints about judicial empowerment. All three themes evidence significant hostility towards the Human Rights Act, but it is argued that the unpopularity of the Act says more about its conception and neglect than it does about its value in the constitutional order. That the Act has survived a strong adverse tide is testament to its substance. By incorporating the ECHR into domestic law, the HRA has forced successive governments to protect unpopular minorities and to justify decisions by reference to convention rights. The Act has also cemented the importance of human rights protections in the constitutional landscape.
Author(s): Tyrrell H
Editor(s): Gordon M; Tucker A
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: In Press
Book Title: The New Labour Constitution: Twenty Years On
Acceptance date: 08/09/2021
Series Title: Hart Studies in Constitutional Law
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Place Published: Oxford
Notes: Ebook ISBN 9781509924653.
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item