Ever since, the United Kingdom has sought to comply with the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) international agreement, which it helped draft. In 1998, the Parliament came up with a Human Rights Act, which was to help in the enforcement of Conventional rights in courts. This paper is a discussion on the case law on s 6(3)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998, which indicates that the courts in the United Kingdom have failed to implement the intent of the Parliament in relation to this provision.
ECHR preserves fundamental political and civil rights, although for a long time, it was not a full part of the UK domestic law, which only gave liberties to citizens, but no rights. Generally, using the Convention meant taking a case direct to the European Court of Human Rights based in Strasbourg, which was often costly and time-consuming. The Human Rights Act 1998 has made Convention rights from the ECHR enforceable in the UK courts. The Act gives citizens a clear legal statement of their fundamental freedoms and basic rights.1
The Act’s major principle is that there should be compatibility with the Convention rights wherever possible. It requires the UK courts to respect laws conceded by Parliament. On the other hand, the Act allows a higher court to assert that a law cannot be given a meaning that is compatible with the Convention rights. Parliament can then make a decision whether or not to amend the law and how to amend it.2
Section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for public authorities to act incompatibly with the conventional rights. Subsection 3(b) defines public authority to include any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature. Subsection (5) states that in relation to a particular act, a person is not a public authority by virtue only of subsection (3)(b) if the nature of the act is private.
The efficiency of section 6 determines the HRA’s success