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7 The Human Rights Act

1. Introduction

The Human Rights Act 1998 is an important and wide-ranging law that affects many parts of our lives. This leaflet explains what the Act says and how it works.

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There is information on:

2. Where did the Human Rights Act start?

3. How does the Human Rights Act work?

4. What can I do if I think my rights have been breached?

5. Which cases doesn't the Act cover?

6. The articles of the Act in detail

7. The protocols in detail

8. Further Help

9. About this leaflet

You may have read about the Human Rights Act in newspapers, or heard about it on television or on the radio. That’s because it’s an important new piece of legislation, which could affect large areas of our lives. The Human Rights Act doesn’t spell out things you must or mustn’t do. It’s more like a series of principles (called articles or protocols). If you want to take somebody to court under the Act, you must show that one of these principles has been broken.


This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Liberty. 

Leaflet version: September 2019

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