We specialise in getting human rights from human wrongs

 

 

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On 2 October 2000, the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force, requiring the acts or decisions of public authorities to be in accordance with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). This includes decisions made by the Home Office in respect of people's entitlement to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.

For those who have applied to enter or remain in the United Kingdom and have had their applications refused, this means that they are entitled to appeal the decision on the basis that the decision breaches their human rights.

Human rights law has thus become a pivotal part of United Kingdom immigration law, and those who have an appeal in law are, in most cases, also entitled to an appeal on human rights grounds. This has led to a substantial body of case law from the immigration and higher courts in the UK, which in large part seek to follow the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). This has led to some fluidity in this area of law as the main principles governing human rights law are examined and re-examined by the courts.

One of the most important rights protected by the Convention, and the right most frequently invoked by those challenging decisions, is the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 ECHR). Whilst at first blush one would surmise that these rights would be fairly well settled, the opposite is true, with the law on these rights subject to continual development and modification.

Article 8, however, is what is known as a qualified right. That means unlike Article 3, for example, which provides complete protection and permits no derogation, violations of the rights protected by Article 8 are permitted if the violation is in accord with the interests of the state specified in Article 8(2) and proportionate to those interests. Indeed, it has often been said that proportionality is at the heart of the Convention. What this effectively means is that when dealing with questions concerning the Convention rights, public authorities must make a careful balance of the rights of the person who alleges that his/her rights have been breached and the rights of the public generally, and if the rights of the individual outweigh the imperatives of lawful immigration control then the person alleging the breach should succeed.

Human rights law is fast moving and continually developing, especially as to one of its central tenets - proportionality. It is essential, therefore, that if you are considering making an application or appeal premised on human rights law that you first avail yourself of expert advice from Aylish Alexander Solicitors, where we specialise in safeguarding people's rights as protected by the Human Rights Act 1998. The firm has a wealth of experience of conducting a broad range of cases in all courts - Your rights are our business!