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An Equality and Human Rights Commission Worthy of the Name

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The Human Rights Act 1998 came fully into force on 2 October 2000, enabling the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to be relied on directly in our domestic courts.1 The Act lacked provision for a Human Rights Commission to advise and assist alleged victims in bringing proceedings for breaches of Convention rights, to research, intervene in court proceedings, and promote a culture of human rights, although such a Commission had been created for Northern Ireland. A White Paper has now been issued outlining plans for a Commission for Equality and Human Rights. This paper considers the future role and potential impact of the Commission and highlights opportunities that have been missed since October 2000 in its absence. We focus on its human rights aspects and summarize key conditions for the new Commission's success.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Blackstone Chambers, Blackstone House, Temple, London EC4Y 9BW, England, Liberal Democrat peer and member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights 2: Barrister and Parliamentary Legal Officer at the Odysseus Trust, 193 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AH, England

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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