Social Work and the Human Rights Act 1998
In 1950, immediately after the Second World War, European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms introduced first international complaints procedure under which individuals had access to an international court, European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), with jurisdiction to hear cases against the state involving abuse of human rights. The fundamental rights protected by the Convention – the right to life, the right to a fair trial, the right to family life and so on – are, reflecting those abuses, essentially civil and political rather than economic and social rights. The Act, which came into force in October 2000, does not incorporate the whole of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law. In general the effect of section 6 is that the Act will bind public authorities but will not regulate relations between private individuals, except in so far as the courts are bound by Human Rights Act 1998 and interprets private law consistently.