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Human rights and law
Human rights and law

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3 Part B: The European Convention on Human Rights

3.1 Part B overview

[Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] You may already be aware of cases (such as that of Diane Pretty) where articles of the European Convention on Human Rights were under debate. Here you will look at its legal implications in more detail. You will consider how the European Convention on Human Rights came into being, why it was considered necessary to create such an instrument, what are its terms and how those terms are interpreted and enforced.

(If interested, the ECHR is also explored in another OpenLearn course, Europe and the law)

The European Convention on Human Rights illustrates how certain rights can become elevated to a legal significance such that governments must honour them and ensure that their domestic laws respect these rights even though this may lead to the interests of a minority being upheld against the views of a majority of the population.

The manner in which rights can become law is discussed in Part C, with particular reference to how English law has dealt with this issue and how future laws may also be influenced by it.