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The modern concept of human rights in the UK - Essay Example

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The modern concept of human rights in the UK

The trials did help to impact the concept that some sort of universal justice is necessary in order to make individuals feel safe, or just, about the world and the law of the world. The atrocities revealed during the trials turned the stomachs of many of the people, as well as the governments, in Europe. It became clear that some sort of restructuring was needed, and that European countries would need to cooperate in order to attain this reconstruction. Therefore, many countries were inspired to start considering aspects of human rights1
The idea of a human rights list in the United Kingdom and Europe is not a new one. Many individuals were pushing for this after World War II. However, the United Kingdom was also aware that Europe was working on a larger-scale concept of human rights in general, which would eventually become the European Convention. This may have been a reason for the United Kingdom's delay in making its own list of individual rights. The United Kingdom has followed the laws of the convention for many years. Laws were beginning to be laid down by this new, European group, and all of Europe was eager to follow. For instance, at the Congress of the Hague in 1948, delegates and observers from 26 countries breathed life into the Council of Europe - making human rights its guiding spirit. The Council of Europe was officially launched in May 1949 with founder members Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. These member countries then put together a charter of rights as well as a European court system that would help those individuals who had had their rights violated. They were able to use examples from the United States and hammered out a treaty that listed several rights. The rights were expected to apply to all citizens in the countries that had both accepted and participated in this exercise. Furthermore, other countries that were willing to work within the confines of the convention's rules would also be accepted into the group 2.
Was this a good idea It certainly is a notion that has good intentions, but it ran clear risks for many of the countries, mainly because it was an entirely new idea, and because it limited each and every government in Europe. The Council of Europe itself does seem like a bit of a political risk for Europe to take. First, the established Court would be able to rule over national law, and if a country did not follow the laws of the convention or violated them, they would be expected to revise their laws in order to fit in with the concepts provided in the Convention. All of this was a very new concept, as no other act or convention had ever placed itself above national governments. Therefore, since this concept was very new, nobody was completely aware of how it would work. Although the European countries were expected to recognize the convention, they did not immediately have to recognize the court's authority immediately. Regardless, many countries accepted both ideas immediately, although some did delay. Still, there was some concern as to the processes effectiveness overall, and some countries wanted to hold out in order to see if this ...Show more


It is clear from s.3[of the Human Rights Act 1998]that the[European Convention on Human Rights] has, in one sense, a lower status than ordinary statutes in that it cannot AUTOMATICALLY override pre existing law"
In order to understand the Act of Human Rights, it is important to first take a look at the history behind it, and then take a closer look at its inability to overturn pre-existing law…
Author : denesikjennyfer
The modern concept of human rights in the UK essay example
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