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Starting with law: An overview of the law

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The ECHR is an international treaty drawn up after the Second World War and designed to prevent the abuse of citizens’ rights by their government. It sets out the individual rights and freedoms that must be protected by the countries that have ratified the Convention.

Since the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force in the UK, public authorities are required to ensure that their actions are consistent with the provisions of the ECHR. Law-making bodies must ensure that all new laws comply with the provisions of the Convention.

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