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Principles of Law - European Convention on Human Rights (echr)

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                PRINCIPLES OF LAW

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The ECHR was adopted after the World War II on 4th November 1950 by a council of European nations. The council was formed with the goal of defending human rights, the rule of law and parliamentary democracy, and also ensure the cruelties and atrocities that took place during the World War II never recur again.  The UK was majorly involved in drafting the convention and was among the first countries to ratify the convention in 1951. As of now the UK has been governed by the ECHR for almost a century (Alix 2010).

There exist European court of human rights that is mandated with the task of overseeing the implementation of the ECHR in the member countries. The court has the final say on complaints regarding human rights violation that the courts of appeal in the member countries are unable to produce a verdict (Alix 2010).

The convention came into force three years later after drafting. The United Nation’s general assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in December 1948 which led to the implementation of the convention. According to the European Council, the convention eliminates the uncertainty of the freedom and rights that are embodied in the UDHR and also provides a list of rights that is guaranteed (Alix 2010).

The European Convention on Human Rights encompasses a set of rights that everyone residing in the member countries expects to get. These rights are: right to enjoy life, prohibition of human mistreatment, prohibition of slavery, right to security and liberty, right to a trial that is fair, prohibition of punishment without law, private and family life respect rights, freedom of thought, religion and conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, right to marry, prohibition of discrimination, and right to a remedy that is effective (Iain and Angus, 2014).

Further rights have been added by the protocols to the convention. Some of these rights include the right of property protection, elections right, the education right (all of which are included in the protocol 1 that was signed in 1952) and the elimination of death penalty (contained in protocol 6 signed in the year 1983).

Convention rights are grouped into three major groups depending on their weight. That is absolute rights, limited rights and qualified rights (Alix 2010).

Absolute rights – these rights cannot be taken away or withhold by the state. For example protection rights against torture and inhuman treatment (Article 3) cannot be limited or removed by council member states.


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