Q&As

What does Brexit mean for the Human Rights Act 1998?

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Produced in partnership with Alison Meacher of Hardwicke Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 05/07/2016

The following Commercial Q&A produced in partnership with Alison Meacher of Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What does Brexit mean for the Human Rights Act 1998?
  • Impact of Brexit
  • Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • Reliance upon the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights

Impact of Brexit

Brexit will have no automatic impact on the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998), or the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provided for by the HRA 1998. Nor will it automatically lead to the UK withdrawing its membership from the Council of Europe, which is an entirely separate body from the European Union.

The Council of Europe was created at the end of the Second World War. It has 47 members and its membership includes but is not limited to the 28 (current) members of the European Union. The headquarters of the Council is in Strasbourg. It is comprised of a Committee of Ministers and a Parliamentary Assembly and its most senior official is the Secretary General. The Parliamentary Assembly is not an elected parliament; its members are elected by the parliaments of the individual Member States.

Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights

The Council of Europe drafted the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, usually referred to as the European Convention on Human Rights or ECHR after the end of the Second World War. Signed in Rome on 4 November 1950, by the (then) 15 Member States, which included the UK, it represents the lowest common denominator of rights the Member States have agreed to protect.

Each Member State has a Judge

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