Human rights and the Human Rights Act 1998: implications for psychiatrists

Dr Martin Curtice and Dr Richard Symonds

60 minutes


April 2019

Learning module

CPD domain:
Academic, Clinical, Professional

Human rights and the human rights act 1998.jpg

The Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998 enacted most of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law in 2000.

Following its inception, it was anticipated that there would be widespread dissemination of information about the Act among patients, carers, doctors, healthcare workers and organisations. However, during the past decade this has unfortunately not been the case, and knowledge about the Act remains poor (House of Lords House of Commons 2007).

This module, the first in a two-part series*, aims to improve this knowledge base by demonstrating salient issues and principles from the HRA 1998 and how these can be used in daily clinical practice. It looks at:

  • the evolution of and the main principles underpinning human rights legislation,
  • Article 3 of the HRA 1998, which concerns the right to be free from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment,
  • Article 8 of the HRA 1998, which concerns the right to private and family life, home and correspondence.

*In the second module in this series, FREDA: a human-rights based approach to clinical practice, we look at the core values underpinning the human rights-based approach and their diverse use in the clinical setting.


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