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Part One Introduction, 2 The impact of the Human Rights Act 1998

Andrew Burrows

From: Remedies for Torts, Breach of Contract, and Equitable Wrongs (4th Edition)

Andrew Burrows QC FBA

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 29 March 2023


This chapter considers the two main respects in which the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) is relevant to civil wrongs. First, as the definition of a public authority in HRA 1998, s 6(3) includes a court, the HRA 1998 can have some ‘horizontal’ effect (that is, in actions between ‘private parties’). While the HRA 1998 does not require the courts to develop new civil wrongs, it has led to the courts modifying existing common law or equitable wrongs to take account of Convention rights. Secondly, HRA 1998, s 6(1) has ‘vertical effect’ by creating a new statutory cause of action constituted by a public authority’s infringement of a person’s Convention rights.

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