The Human Rights Act came into effect in the UK in October 2000. The Act enabled people in the UK to take cases about their human rights to a UK court. Previously they had to take complaints about their human rights to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
There are 16 basic rights in the Human Rights Act, all taken from the European Convention on Human Rights. They do not only affect matters of life and death like freedom from torture and killing; they also affect people’s rights in everyday life: what they can say and do, their beliefs, their right to a fair trial and many other similar basic entitlements.
Making sense of Human Rights is a document produced by the Department of Constitutional Affairs providing a short introduction to the Act. For more in-depth information they have also produced a document entitled ‘A Guide to the Human Rights Act 1998′.
What do human rights mean in mental healthcare?
As public service providers, NHS trusts have a legal duty to protect basic human rights. In practice this means:
Human Rights in Health Care – DoH Framework (October 2008)