Human Rights and Anti-Terrorsm Legislation

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The changes ushered into the British legal system ride on the crescent wave of voices and policies in the European community that seek to uphold the primacy of human rights and due process, particularly when made vulnerable by antiquated state structures and legal institutions.


The primary Human Rights document in the United Kingdom is the Human Rights Act 1998. The Human Rights Act 1998 received royal assent on November 9, 1998 and came into force on October 2, 2000. The objective of said Act was to harmonize the domestic law of the United Kingdom with the European Convention on Human Rights and to provide for stricter human rights guarantees to be followed by all states. The provisions on free speech, freedom of assembly and due process all impact heavily on the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom.
On the other hand, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in November of 2001, a mere two months after the historic 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Criticized by many for the undue haste in its passage, with concerns of political pressure being raised, the law in its original form contained passages that human rights groups deemed to be violative of established human rights principles. Amidst the outrage surrounding the 911 attacks, the Anti-Terror Law was heralded as a measure to combat the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism and to arrest its spread and development. Legal scholars and free speech advocates, however, unite in condemning the law for trampling constitutionally-protected liberties. ...
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