Essay about The Human Rights Act

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The Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into domestic law the ECHR to which the UK has been committed since 1951. The Act modernises relationships between people and the State.

The Act has brought huge responsibilities across the UK and one such responsibility is with regards to Article 2(the protection of the right to life) & Article 3(No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment). Article 2 & 3 imposes on the State positive obligations in that the securing of certain conventional rights can only be achieved by State action to regulate certain types of conduct.

Article 2 is one of the 'most fundamental provisions in the Convention' as it
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The extent of the public authority's obligation, however, is limited to that which is reasonable[2]. In the Osman case, the applicant alleged an omission on the part of the authorities in their duty to protect the right to life against a threat posed by an individual, raising questions about the State's duty to protect an individual from the criminal acts of another private person. The applicants argued that despite the various indications that the teacher posed a threat to the applicant and his family, the failure of the police to offer them adequate protection amounted to a breach. The case showed that a positive obligation does arise from Article 2 to protect an individual from another private person. However, in determining its extent the Court took into consideration the difficulties in policing modern society and the unpredictability of human conduct, and defined this particular aspect of the duty to protect life rather narrowly.

A positive obligation arises where the authorities knew or ought to have known of a real and immediate risk to an identified person and they did not do all that could be reasonably expected of them to avoid such a risk.

The obligation has extended to protect identified individuals from a threat

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