This essay will determine whether 'The European Convention on Human Rights' (ECHR) exists to guarantee legal protection to fundamental rights. Fundamental rights are rights that are considered to give legal protection under a legal system in any country. This essay will initially look at how and why the ECHR was first introduced to Europe and the difference between moral and legal rights. This essay will then address the effect of European law on the United Kingdom ( 'UK'), how specifically the UK approached the implementation of rights in to its legal system, how the UK balances different rights using the 'Human Rights Act 1998' (HRA) and to give consideration to if there are any limitations to these rights, based on those contained in the ECHR. .
To understand the effect that the ECHR has on a country, attention must be given to why the ECHR was first implemented. Its roots come from after the cessation of The Second World War, when politicians along with governments from around Europe sought to create a climate of stability and cooperation, this was to ensure what was experienced during The Second World War would never happen again (Howells et al. 2011). The ECHR was created to ensure that all who joined it became accountable for the treatment of their own people, as they were member states (Howells et al. 2011). The residents of member states and even those not currently part of the ECHR all have moral and legal rights. Moral rights are rights that are universal and applicable to everyone, they cannot be changed of taken away. This is in contrast to legal rights that are particular and applicable to only certain individuals, these rights can be taken away; an example is the right to freedom for committing murder. Guaranteeing legal protection to all citizens in any country would involve ensuring that the legal rights set down by that country automatically coincide with their moral rights (Montgomery, 2012).