Human rights are complicated because every individual has a different view about what rights are and how they should be protected. These views are influenced by upbringing, culture, religion, friends and family and other factors. The most difficult aspect of freedom has always been that the concept requires us to recognise that other people have ideas that may not align with our own. The point of universal human rights is that at their core they can be given context no matter the culture.
All human rights are about ensuring the dignity of every individual. The relationship between the HRA 1998 and the ECHR demonstrates how two legal systems influence one another as rights are continuously defined and redefined.
Understanding how rights are enforced at the European and UK levels gives a broader picture about rights protection in the UK. While every individual may not agree with way in which rights are extended, this is the trade-off of rights. One may not pick and choose who is protected by human rights. They are shared by all individuals, no matter who they are or where they live.
After studying this week you should:
- have an understanding of what human rights are
- be able to explain the framework for human rights in Scotland
- understand the complexity surrounding human rights and common myths about them.