The Human Rights Act is the main way your human rights are protected in the UK.
The Human Rights Act contains a list of 16 rights (called 'Articles')
There are three things you need to know about how the Human Rights Act works:
The Human Rights Act puts a legal duty on public authorities and officials to respect and protect your rights in everything they do.
You don’t need a lawyer to use the Human Rights Act. You can raise the issue about your care or treatment directly with service providers.
All other laws should respect your human rights.
For example, if you are worried about how a part of the Mental Health Act is affecting your human rights, you can ask a court to look at this.
The rights in the Human Rights Act are taken from the European Convention on Human Rights.
The UK helped write the Convention.
Before we had the Human Rights Act in the UK, you had to go to the European Court of Human Rights (in France) to get help. This is far away and it can take years to get your case heard.
So the Human Rights Act brought these rights closer to home.
This means you can now ask your local court or tribunal to help with your rights.
Public authorities have a legal duty to respect and protect your rights in everything that they do, including providing the services you use.
This is not a full list, just examples of who has duties to uphold your rights.
These organisations and the people working for them also have a legal duty to uphold your rights.
Once they know your rights are at risk, they will have a duty to act and take steps to protect your rights.
This duty is really important in everyday situations because if you are treated badly by services you can: