A2.304 Bringing claims under HRA 1998

Administration and compliance

A2.304 Bringing claims under HRA 1998

A2.304 Bringing claims under HRA 1998

Who can bring a claim?

In contrast to judicial review proceedings, where third parties may bring public interest actions, provided that they can show 'sufficient interest'1, only a person who is a 'victim' can bring proceedings under HRA 1998.

HRA 1998, s 7 provides that a person may bring proceedings or rely on Convention rights in any legal proceedings 'only if he is (or would be) a victim of the unlawful act.' A person is a victim of an unlawful act only if he would be a victim for the purposes of Article 34 of the Convention if proceedings were brought in the ECtHR in respect of that act. The Convention jurisprudence has established that the ECtHR will not review domestic law in abstracto, but will determine whether the manner in which the system has been applied to the applicants gives rise to any violations of the Convention2. However, sufficient interest may suffice where the claim is for a Convention-compliant interpretation of legislation (under HRA 1998, s 3) or declaration of incompatibility (under HRA 1998, s 4) (although such a claim does not provide access to other remedies under HRA 1998, s 8).

Accordingly, taxpayer interest groups should consider having a representative taxpayer bring a claim in conjunction with the interest group. For example, in R (on the application of Professional Contractors Group Ltd)3, there were three claimants. As well as the Professional Contractors Group (an organisation formed

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