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date: 01 December 2023

p. 50619. Human Rights III: The Human Rights Act 1998locked

p. 50619. Human Rights III: The Human Rights Act 1998locked

  • Ian LovelandIan LovelandProfessor of Public Law, City, University of London


This chapter discusses the main provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and considers its implications for the understandings attached to the core constitutional principles of parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. The chapter argues that the Blair government’s rapid and determined efforts to convince Parliament to pass the HRA demonstrates that members of the first New Labour administration did not share the simplistic view of democracy embraced by the Conservative Party during the judicial supremacism episode. The 1998 Act may be criticised on the basis that it transfers a dangerous amount of political power from the government to the judges, but the sentiments evinced by many Conservative MPs on this issue had little to commend them from a constitutional perspective.

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