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- Human rights / Freedom of expression
- Human rights in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
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Follow IrishTimesNews. Most Discussed. Sign In. Don't have an account? Forgot Password? The police also have stop and search powers which they can use if they have reasonable grounds to believe that they will find stolen or prohibited articles or controlled drugs. Certain other categories of person may also be detained, such as persons in need of care and attention under the National Assistance Act , children in the care of a local authority in secure accommodation , those suffering from infectious diseases under the Public Health Act of and those detained by the British Armed Forces abroad.
The courts have powers to sentence offenders and deprive them of their liberty, as well as detain mental patients under the provisions of the Mental Health Act Although the common law provides no explicit statement of rights in a legal process, a number of principles combine to guarantee an individual a certain level of protection by law.
Certain specific rights apply in criminal cases. Courts have jurisdiction to prevent abuses of process if it would be unfair to try a defendant or a fair trial would not be possible. The common law has not traditionally provided effective protection against discrimination , refusing to find that slavery in the colonies was contrary to public policy and not interpreting the word "person" to include women. Much of this legislation was consolidated into the Equality Act , the bulk of which entered into force in October ,  which also introduces an "equality duty" requiring public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations between people.
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The Representation of the People Acts and confer the franchise on British subjects and citizens of the Commonwealth and Ireland who are resident in the UK. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act deals with the registration of political parties , while electoral boundaries are determined by four Boundary Committees established under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act Fundamental rights form an integral part of European Union law.
The United Kingdom sought to obtain a partial opt-out from the application of the Charter with the addition of Protocol 30 which affirms that the European Court of Justice does not have the jurisdiction to state a breach of the Charter by national laws, regulations or administrative provisions, practices or action, and that nothing in Title IV of the Charter concerning employment rights creates " justiciable rights " applicable to the United Kingdom unless those rights exist already in its law.
Other rights are conferred on UK nationals as citizens of the European Union , notably the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of nationality in an area within the scope of European Union law, the right to move and reside within the EU, the right to vote and stand for election in European and municipal elections, the right to diplomatic protection, the right to petition the European Parliament and the right to apply to the European Ombudsman.
The United Kingdom is party to a number of international treaties and agreements which guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms. However, as the UK is a dualist state, treaties and agreements ratified by the government have no effect until and unless incorporated into domestic law. In Northern Ireland, the government curtailed the civil liberties of all those, disproportionately from the Catholic nationalist minority as the UK government commissioned Stevens Inquiries concluded; "This included examination and analysis of RUC records to determine whether both sides of the community were dealt with in equal measure.
They were not. During Operation Demetrius , for instance, a total of 1, people were interned without trial,  of whom only were loyalists , and no loyalists were arrested until , 2 years after the introduction of internment. The European Court of Human Rights initially ruled that torture had been used, but on appeal amended the ruling to state that the techniques used, including sleep deprivation , hooding , stress postures, subjection to " white noise " and deprivation of food and drink, constituted "cruel and inhuman treatment", but fell short of torture, in a landmark case.
Since , the " War on Terror " has led to new human rights concerns.
Human rights / Freedom of expression
The most recent criticism has concerned the Prevention of Terrorism Act , a response to a perceived increased threat of terrorism. This act allows the house arrest of terrorism suspects where there is insufficient evidence to bring them to trial , involving the derogation opting-out of human rights laws, through the imposition of control orders. Secretary of State for the Home Department Both the above Acts have been criticised for the lack of parliamentary discussion; the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act went from introduction to Royal Assent in 32 days, the Prevention of Terrorism Act in The Civil Contingencies Act has also been criticised as giving the government very wide-ranging power in an emergency.
On 2 February Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights also suggested that the Identity Cards Act might contravene Article 8 of the European Convention the right to respect for private life and Article 14 the right to non-discrimination. In , Home Secretary Theresa May introduced a Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, which was criticized by the civil liberties and human rights pressure group Liberty because 'Sadly this Bill ignores reforms that could improve the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions and continues the discredited trend of unnecessary and unjust blank cheque powers that have the potential to undermine long term security'.
Part 4 of the Act provided for the indefinite detention without charge of foreign nationals certified by the Home Secretary as "suspected international terrorists" where such persons could not be deported on the grounds that they faced a real risk of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment if removed to their home country.
Part 4 did not create new detention powers — under the Immigration Act , the Home Secretary has the power to detain a foreign national pending deportation. Instead, Part 4 removed a limitation on detention powers imposed by the requirements of Article 5 1 f of the European Convention on Human Rights which provided, among other things, that someone could only be detained for a short period prior to deportation. This was achieved by the British government derogating from the ECHR on the basis that the threat to the UK amounted to a 'public emergency threatening the life of the nation' within the meaning of Article However, the use of immigration detention powers meant that, although the British government could not force them, the detainees were technically free to return albeit facing a real risk of torture.
However, 2 detainees did leave — one to France and one to Morocco. In , the Special Immigration Appeals Commission held that indefinite detention under Part 4 was incompatible with the right to non-discrimination under Article 14 ECHR, on the basis that only suspected terrorists who were foreign nationals were subjected to detention, while suspects who were British nationals remained free.
In December , the House of Lords held that Part 4 was incompatible with both Article 5 and Article 14 ECHR on the basis that indefinite detention was both a disproportionate measure notwithstanding the seriousness of the terrorist threat, as well as discriminatory. Following the judgment, the government moved to introduce control orders as an highly controversial alternative measure.
The use of control orders and the repeal of Part 4 of the was secured by the passing of the Prevention of Terrorism Act There has been a growing awareness of human trafficking as a human rights issue in the UK, in particular the trafficking of women and under-age girls into the UK for forced prostitution. In January , the UK became the first country in its history  to be investigated under the United Nations ' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for "systematic and grave violations" of disabled people's human rights, largely in response to cuts made by the Department for Work and Pensions and social care provision since ,  which disproportionately affect disabled people,   as well as workfare programmes and the " bedroom tax ".
In July , a committee of the House of Lords revealed that British police and intelligence agencies are using children as spies in covert operations against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers. The committee raised alarm over government plans to give law enforcement bodies more freedom over their use of children.
Some of the child spies are aged under David Davis , the former Brexit secretary, Diane Abbott , the shadow home secretary, and a number of human rights groups have criticized the practice of using children as spies. The decisions have also had a profound effect and influence on the approach adopted by the UK to the regulation of activities which could potentially engage Convention rights.
As one author has noted, "[t]here is hardly an area of state regulation untouched by standards which have emerged from the application of Convention provisions to situations presented by individual applicants. There are three national human rights institutions in the UK, each with specific jurisdiction and functions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Inalienable fundamental rights to which people in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are inherently entitled.
United Kingdom. The Crown. British Monarchy. HM Government. Privy Council. Parliament 57th Parliament. House of Lords. House of Commons. Supreme Court. Joint Ministerial Committee Legislative consent motions Scotland. Northern Ireland. Administrative geography. European Parliament Elections. Crown Dependencies. Overseas Territories.
Foreign relations. Other countries Atlas. See also: Civil liberties in the United Kingdom.
Human rights in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
Main article: European Convention on Human Rights. Main article: Human Rights Act The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. January Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Main article: Right to life. Main articles: Freedom of thought and Freedom of religion in the United Kingdom. Main article: Freedom of expression.
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Main articles: Freedom of assembly and Freedom of association. Further information: Privacy in English law. Main article: Right to property. Main article: Slavery at common law. Main article: Right to liberty.
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Main article: Right to a fair trial. Main articles: Freedom from discrimination and United Kingdom employment equality law. Main article: Elections in the United Kingdom. Main article: The Troubles.
Main article: Internment. Main article: Human trafficking in the United Kingdom. Equality and Human Rights Commission. Spring Retrieved 16 March November The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Archived from the original on 13 March Retrieved 19 June Archived from the original on 10 March Retrieved 5 April The British Library.
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Retrieved 3 October The National Archives. Retrieved 17 November Retrieved 21 July Retrieved 27 November The key landmark is the Bill of Rights , which established the supremacy of Parliament over the Crown UK Parliament. Retrieved 16 November The Constitution Society. Archived from the original on 6 October The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May The Independent. Retrieved 4 November Parliamentary Debates Hansard. Archived from the original PDF on 4 September Retrieved 29 October Daily Mail. BBC News Online.
The Daily Telegraph. The Scottish Government. Retrieved 30 October The Equal Rights Trust. The Lawyer. Archived from the original on 5 November UK Treaties Online.
Archived from the original on 13 November Retrieved 13 November Archived from the original on 25 August The Stationery Office. Archived from the original on 18 May Retrieved 26 June Pat Finucane Inquiry Campaign. UN is investigating UK's 'grave violations' of disabled people's rights".