The Government’s Independent Review of the Human Rights Act Contents



1 Introduction

2 The Human Rights Act

The European Convention on Human Rights

The provisions of the Human Rights Act

Enforcing human rights in the UK prior to the Human Rights Act

Positive impact of the Act

No case for change

3 The relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and the Domestic Courts: Section 2 Human Rights Act


Section 2 Human Rights Act

Courts’ interpretation of section

Does section 2 limit our courts?

Impact of domestic court’s consideration of human rights compatibility on the margin of appreciation afforded to the UK

Margin of appreciation

Impact of domestic courts’ consideration of human rights compatibility on the margin of appreciation

How domestic courts apply the margin of appreciation

Judicial dialogue

Informal judicial dialogue: discussions between judges

Formal Judicial dialogue: judgments


4 The separation of powers: sections 3 and 4 Human Rights Act


Constitutional context

The separation of powers

Parliamentary sovereignty

The rule of law

Constitutional context for the introduction of the Human Rights Act

Section 3 Human Rights Act–statutory interpretation

The new interpretative obligation

Has section 3 undermined the separation of powers?

When a Human Rights Act compatible interpretation is not possible

Section 4 Human Rights Act–declarations of incompatibility

Respecting Parliamentary sovereignty

A measure of last resort


5 The right to an effective remedy: Article 13 ECHR


The right to an effective remedy as a core part of the principle of subsidiarity

What does Article 13 ECHR require of a State’s domestic legal system?

What remedy is “effective”?


6 Extra-territorial effect of the Human Rights Act

Territorial jurisdiction under the HRA

Territorial jurisdiction under the ECHR

Implications of reform

7 Administrative Law

Inter-relationship between IHRAR and IRAL

Government consultation on Judicial Review Reform

8 Derogating from the ECHR: Designated Derogation Orders and Remedies


The legal framework for derogating from the ECHR

Article 15 ECHR

HRA Framework for derogating from the ECHR

UK derogations from the ECHR

The case of A v UK [2009]

Arguments for a change


9 Parliamentary scrutiny of remedial Orders

The remedial process

Use of the remedial power

Scrutiny by the JCHR

10 The nations of the UK and the devolution statues

Northern Ireland




11 Enforcing and embedding rights

The ‘section 6’ duty

Enforcing rights through the courts

The Human Rights role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

A step short of legal action?

Conclusions and recommendations

Declaration of interests

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 8 July 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement