chapter  2
18 Pages

THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 AND THE COMMON LAW, A HEALTHCARE LAW PERSPECTIVE

ByJohn Hodgson

When the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was drafted in 1949-50, the focus was on human rights writ large. It was part of the general post-war settlement, and was initially conceived as a regional version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.1 It was not until a late stage in the travaux préparatoires that a draft tabled by the UK delegation actually produced an enforcement mechanism.2 Even so the Preamble clearly indicates the relationship with the Universal Declaration:

While there is a specific guarantee of ‘due process’ in Art 5 (relating to the deprivation of liberty) and Art 6 (relating to trial), it is clear that these were specifically aimed at preventing a repetition of the arbitrary arrests of the GeStapo and other Nazi bodies and the mockery of legality in Freisler’s

CHAPTER 2

Volksgericht, with obvious reference to similar abuses in the remaining dictatorships of the left and right in Europe at the time.