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Introduction to UK immigration law and becoming an immigration advisor
Introduction to UK immigration law and becoming an immigration advisor

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2 Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) has attracted considerable debate and controversy since its implementation. It is an Act of the UK Parliament.

The primary ways in which the HRA enforces rights created by the ECHR are by:

  • imposing an obligation on UK courts and tribunals to interpret domestic law in a way that is compatible with rights contained in the ECHR, as far as is possible
  • permitting direct actions against public authorities for breaching rights in the ECHR.

The HRA is relevant to immigration advisers because it affects the decision-making processes of public bodies (including tribunals and the Home Office) and the interpretation of legislation. It also enables an individual to challenge breaches of human rights in a UK tribunal or court system, which generally avoids having to go to the ECtHR.

When new legislation in relation to immigration law is being considered, the Home Office often issues a memorandum that outlines how the proposed new legislation complies with the ECHR – examples of these can be found online [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (Home Office, 2015).