The case law generated in just over two years' operation of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), enables stocktaking rather than definitive appraisal.1 This article begins by recalling the markedly contrasting roles in United Kingdom law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) before and after the HRA, the better to appreciate judicial approaches to, and use of, the HRA in the areas surveyed. The second part of the article focuses on judicial use of key provisions of the HRA to interpret primary legislation said to conflict with one or more Convention rights and on judicial use of the power to make a declaration of incompatibility. It considers a selection of decisions, principally of the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal, which raise important points regarding the purpose and scope of the HRA as a constitutional document and indicate judicial uncertainty as to how the HRA should be conceptualised, interpreted and applied. With this emerging picture of a cautious and uncertain judiciary in mind, the final two sections of the article give detailed consideration to the post-HRA jurisprudence within two discrete areas of English law. Part III explores the impact of the HRA on judicial approaches to the clash between the freedoms of expression and assembly, on the one hand, and public order, on the other. Part IV considers the ‘use and abuse’ of the HRA and of Article 8 ECHR in private law family disputes. Finally, certain tentative conclusions as to the perhaps disappointing story of the HRA so far, will be proffered.