The court's own practice and procedures must be Convention compliant. Whether, and in what circumstances, the court's section 6 obligation extends more widely than this, and affects the substantive law to be applied by the court when adjudicating upon disputes between private parties, still awaits authoritative decision.
The Human Rights Act 1998
The scope of inquiry of this volume is the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 (‘the HRA’) on the private law of England and Wales. The HRA gave effect in UK domestic law to the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (‘the Convention’, ‘Convention rights’), to which the United Kingdom has been a party since its inception. Prior to the HRA, the Convention had only a limited role to play in English law through the principles of English law which influenced its drafting; through the duty on the courts to interpret the law in accordance with the Crown's international treaty obligations where possible; and through the possibility of a case before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (‘the Strasbourg court’), albeit that these have in practice been complied with by the UK Government although on occasions with significant delay. One further indirect influence was through membership of the European Communities and Union since the Court of Justice of the European Union has accepted that general principles of European Community law include protection of fundamental rights derived from the common traditions of the laws of Member States.
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