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The UK and the Human Rights Act

            The United Kingdom (UK) introduced human rights in the domestic courts through the passing of the Human Rights Act (HRA) of 1998. It is through their dualistic system, this act served as a facilitator towards the access of the Convention rights within the UK domestic courts. The efficiency of the rights within the UK is commendable where persons are able to enforce rights against the state and as a result of cases in the past; the Parliament usually adjusted or reviewed their legislation in order to make it compatible with Convention law. Presently, there has been the proposal for a British Bill of Right and Responsibilities (BOR) to replace the HRA, the proposal has been awaken by the criticisms of the HRA, and the case made for a BOR would be assessed accordingly.
             First of all one should take note of the inefficiencies within the operation of the HRA in the UK. There has always been a tension between the enforcement and protection of a fundamental human right as opposed to the maintenance of the constitutional doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty. According to Section 2(1) of the HRA, it imposes a duty on the courts and tribunals to 'take into account' any judgment, decision, declaration or advisory opinion of the ECHR. However the contentious phrase would be to 'take into account' since it may mean to consider, to keep in mind or to treat as relevant; but does it mean in anyway to be bound by? According to Lord Slynn in R(Alconbury) " In the absence of some special circumstances it seems to me that the court should follow any clear and constant jurisprudence' of the ECHR. Most judges operated as though they were bound to Convention jurisprudence. This was of great concern to Parliament and herein lays the problem that occurred in the judgment of cases.
             For example, in AF v Secretary of the State for the Home Department, the House had to determine how to respond to the Grand Chamber's recent judgment in A v UK, where it held that Article 6 imposed an absolute requirement that a terrorist suspect should be informed of the 'gist' or essence of the case against him.

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