Happy 20th Birthday to The Human Rights Act!
Today on the 9th November 2018 we celebrate twenty years since the Human Rights Act received Royal Assent. This remains the principal law protecting our human rights in the UK.
The Human Rights Act incorporates in to UK law 16 rights from the European Convention of Human Rights, itself drawn up in the aftermath of the Second World War. Prior to it being passed, people in the UK had to access their Convention rights through the European Court of Human Rights. This could take years and meant many could not practicably enforce their rights in the UK.
The Human Rights Act made sure that those rights can be used in British courts to hold public bodies to account and seek justice in the UK.
The Human Rights Act has enabled many victims in the UK to access justice. Justice for the victims and families of the Hillsborough disaster was achieved through using the act. After 27 years of fighting for justice, the Hillsborough families used the Human Rights Act to uncover the truth about how their 96 loved ones died. After the disaster the fans were blamed, and there was no proper inquest. The Human Rights Act changed this. It enabled the families of those who died to get a proper inquest, one where they could tell their loved ones’ stories, and which revealed the truth: that mistakes made by the police and others led to their deaths. This is one of the reasons I believe in the Human Rights Act and celebrate twenty years of the act.
Jared O’Mara MP