Halsbury's Laws of England (volume 88A 2013) RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS on LexisNexis AU (UniMelb staff and student access) is a good starting point for your research into UK human rights law. Halsbury's provides up to date commentary and links to relevant legislation and significant cases.
To get there, scroll to Rights and Freedoms in the alphabetical list, then click the + buttons to browse to more specific topics or tick the boxes and search the content.
Information about the legislative history of human rights in the UK.
The key legislative source of human rights in the UK is the Human Rights Act 1998 c. 42
The Human Rights Act gives legal effect in the UK to many fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Act makes the ECHR part of the law of the UK, so people in the UK can complain in UK courts about a contravention of their Convention rights by public authorities.
An individual who has sought a remedy UK courts and who is dissatisfied with the outcome can pursue a remedy at the European Court of Human Rights.
The Human Rights Act is administered by the UK Ministry of Justice.
For a detailed and up to date analysis of the Human Rights Act, and references to key cases interpreting the provisions of the Act, see Westlaw UK's Human Rights Insight (UniMelb staff and student access only).
Other human rights acts are:
The Equality Act prohibits discrimination in areas such as employment, education and services on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation ('protected characteristics').
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the regulatory body that enforces the Equality Act.
More information about the Equality Act.
The Modern Slavery Act prohibits slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking. The Act creates the office of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, a Home Office monitoring body.
We recommend using Westlaw UK (UniMelb staff and students only) to find human rights decisions in UK courts.
All cases that are appealed from UK courts to the ECtHR have the UK as a named party.
A. Use Westlaw UK to find the case - by the name of the individual who would have appealed the decision to the ECtHR.
B. Use the HUDOC case law database on the European Court of Human Right's website.
The cases on the HUDOC database are unreported. Not all cases are subsequently reported. If you need to check for a reported version for citation purposes, look for the ECtHR case in the Cases tab on Westlaw UK eg: Ali v United Kingdom - it will provide parallel citations listed in authority order - for example:
Links are provided to law report series in Westlaw UK.
Some of the report series listed above contain cases from the ECtHR only - for example, the European Human Rights Reports ('EHRR' - on Westlaw UK); some also contain reports of cases from domestic courts - for example Butterworths Human Rights Cases ('BHRC' - on Lexis.com) also contains significant cases from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Ireland and South Africa; and some are UK domestic law report series - for instance, the Entertainment and Media Law Reports ('EMLR' - on Westlaw UK).
If a series is in the Westlaw UK 'where reported' list but not hyperlinked, the series is not available on Westlaw UK. To find the full title of the report series abbreviation so you can check the catalogue for holdings, use the Law Library's Legal Abbreviations webpage.
The UK Human Rights blog covers UK and European human rights cases.
London School of Economics Human Rights Blog
The Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog from the University of Oxford promotes dialogue between human rights researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from around the world. Original contributions on recent human rights law developments across the globe, including case law, current litigation, legislation, policy-making and activism are welcome.
RightsInfo - founded by leading barrister Adam Wagner, RightsInfo is about using social media to find new ways to talk about and deliver human rights stories and information.
To find UK and European academic / scholarly journal articles on UK human rights law, irrespective of the journal in which they are published, we recommend using Legal Journals Index (LJI) on Westlaw UK (UniMelb staff and student access).
UK Human Rights Journals
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights consists of members appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to examine matters relating to human rights within the United Kingdom (excluding consideration of individual cases).
The Committee's work includes scrutinising every Government Bill for its compatibility with human rights, including:
Equality and Human Rights Commission reports
Human Rights Review 2012 - this is a comprehensive review of the UK's success in meeting its human rights obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. It was the first review of its kind since the Human Rights Act came into force in 2000 and applied the Convention rights to UK domestic law.
Is Britain Fairer? This 2015 report measures the UK's success in ensuring equality of opportunity, freedom from discrimination and the protection of fundamental rights.
For information on the European regional human rights system, see the European page under the Regional tab.
The UK follows a dualist approach with respect to the domestic effect of international treaties. This is similar in approach to other Commonwealth countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The dualist system means that in order for the treaty obligations to be given the force of law domestically, the UK cannot simply become a party to the treaty - the treaty must be incorporated into domestic legislation (Maclaine Watson & Co Ltd v Department of Trade and Trade and Industry  2 AC 418, 474-5). An example of incorporation of a human rights treaty into UK domestic legislation is the Human Rights Act 1998 c. 42, which gives legal effect in the UK to many fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
When the UK is a party to a treaty but has not implemented this domestically by statute, there is a 'prima facie presumption that Parliament does not intend to act in breach of international law', so in cases of ambiguity, the treaty obligations are presumed to prevail (Salomon v Commissioners of Customs and Excise  2 QB 116, 143-4 (Diplock LJ)). See also Eirik Bjorge, 'Can Unincorporated Treaty Obligations Be Part of English Law?' (April 19 2017) University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2017-18 (open access).
See also Veronika Fikfak, 'English Courts and the "Internalisation" of the European Convention of Human Rights?: Between Theory and Practice'  5 UK Supreme Court Annual Review 188-222 (open access).
See also the UK chapter in:
Check the UK's ratification status and reservations of the core human rights treaties in the UN Treaty Collection Status of Treaties database.
The UK has ratified 7 of the core international human rights treaties. These are:
REPORTS TO AND BY THE UN
UN Treaty Body Reports
The UK is required to submit periodic reports to the UN on its implementation of and compliance with each of the seven core UN human rights treaties it has ratified. The UK's Reports to the United Nations can be found on:
Universal Periodic Review
The UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States, undertaken by the UN Human Rights Council. It involves review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. Review under the UPR does not depend on a country being a party to a particular human rights treaty. UK Reports can be viewed on the Documents database.
The UK Country Report includes information on the latest Universal Periodic Review, and the status of the country in relation to UN Charter based bodies and Treaty bodies.
The UN Universal Human Rights Index provides access to country-specific human rights information emanating from international human rights mechanisms in the United Nations system: the Treaty Bodies, the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
CIVIL SOCIETY MONITORING REPORTS
Human Rights Watch annual World Reports
Freedom House's Freedom in the World - an annual study of political rights and civil liberties
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE REPORTS
US Department of State annual Human Rights Reports
In the latest Rule of Law Index from the World Justice Project, the UK ranked 14th out of 102 countries for its adherence to protection of fundamental human rights. See the UK statistics on the Rule of Law website.
The factors taken into account in assessing the UK's human rights rank are those established under the Universal Declaration :
See the full Rule of Law Index for all countries here.