The UK and the European Court of Human Rights

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Equality and Human Rights Commission
Research report 83



The UK and the European Court
of Human Rights


Alice Donald, Jane Gordon and Philip Leach

Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute

London Metropolitan University
The UK and the European Court of Human Rights



     Alice Donald, Jane Gordon and Philip Leach

  Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute

            London Metropolitan University
 Equality and Human Rights Commission 2012

First published Spring 2012

ISBN 978 1 84206 434 4

Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report Series
The Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report Series publishes
research carried out for the Commission by commissioned researchers.

The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily
represent the views of the Commission. The Commission is publishing the report as
a contribution to discussion and debate.

Please contact the Research Team for further information about other Commission
research reports, or visit our website:

Research Team
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Arndale House
The Arndale Centre
Manchester
M4 3AQ

Email: research@equalityhumanrights.com
Telephone: 0161 829 8500
Website: www.equalityhumanrights.com

You can download a copy of this report as a PDF from our website:
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

If you require this publication in an alternative format, please contact the
Communications Team to discuss your needs at:
communications@equalityhumanrights.com
Contents                                                              Page

Tables                                                                      i

Acknowledgments                                                            ii

Abbreviations                                                             iii

Executive summary                                                          v

1.   Introduction                                                         1
     1.1   Aims of the report                                             1
     1.2   Context of the report                                          1
     1.3   Methodology                                                    3
     1.4   Scope of the report                                            4
     1.5   Guide to the report                                            5

2.   Origins and machinery of the European human rights system             6
     2.1   Introduction                                                    6
     2.2   The European Convention on Human Rights                         6
     2.3   The Council of Europe                                          11
     2.4   How the Convention system works                                12
     2.5   Conclusion                                                     20

3.   The protection of human rights in the UK                             21
     3.1   Introduction                                                   21
     3.2   Giving effect to Convention rights in the UK                   21
     3.3   Debate about human rights protection in the UK                 25
     3.4   The context of devolution                                      27
     3.5   Conclusion                                                     28

4.   Statistical overview of UK cases in Strasbourg                       30
     4.1 Introduction                                                     30
     4.2 Overview of UK cases over time                                   30
     4.3 Overview of UK cases in comparison with other states             36
     4.4 The nature of violations in Strasbourg cases                     38
     4.5 Conclusion                                                       42

5.   The impact of European Court of Human Rights judgments on the UK     44
     5.1   Introduction                                                   44
     5.2   Identifying the impact of legal cases                          44
     5.3   Protection of life and investigations into deaths              45
     5.4   Anti-terrorism and the prohibition of torture and inhuman or
           degrading treatment or punishment                              52
     5.5   Anti-terrorism and other human rights violations               58
     5.6   Protection from violence and coercion                          61
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