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What can I do if I think my rights have been breached?
If you think a public authority has breached your Convention rights (or that it is going to), you can take court proceedings against them. You have to show that you have been affected by what the public authority has done or is going to do.
You can apply for a procedure called a 'judicial review' if:
- you want to challenge a decision made by a public authority; or
- you want the court to order a public authority to do something or stop doing something.
Under judicial review, a judge will look at your case and decide if the public authority has acted illegally. You have to start proceedings quickly, and at the latest within three months of the authority's decision or action you are challenging. It is important to consult a lawyer quickly and discuss the possibility of judicial review if you think that there has been a breach of your rights, because judicial review can be an effective way of challenging a decision or action, and you are more likely to get public funding (legal aid) for it than for a damages claim on its own.
If you just want compensation because your Convention rights have been breached, you can bring a claim for damages. You have to bring the case within a year of your rights being breached.
A court can award you compensation if it finds that your Convention rights have been breached. But the court may choose not to award you compensation if it decides that simply finding that your rights were breached is enough. The compensation that people have received for breaches of their Convention rights has been quite low.
You may also be able to rely on your Convention rights if you are defending yourself in court. This will happen most often in criminal cases, but it may also happen, for example, if you are:
- a council tenant and the council is trying to evict you; or
- an immigrant or asylum seeker facing deportation.
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- Community Legal Advice
Find links to information about your rights and responsibilities depending on your situation in life. For example, you might have different rights if you are married, if you are a parent or if you are a carer for someone who needs help.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that provides the public with the right to access information held by public bodies. The Act came into force in full on 1 January 2005.
The Human Rights Act 1998 is a piece of statute legislation passed by the UK Parliament under the Labour Government of Tony Blair. The purpose of the Human Rights Act was to enshrine human rights law into UK law for the first time.
The Human Rights Act applies to everyone, including convicted criminals. Some of these rights are absolute, however, some rights can be restricted. Consequently, the human rights of convicted criminals are limited in some circumstances.
Fingerprints and DNA samples are forms of identification evidence, which the police may use to link a suspect to a crime or crime scene. However, it is important to be aware of the circumstances in which the police are able to take such evidence.
Media coverage of events throughout the world, particularly the September 11th attacks in the US and the police operations both before and after the July 7th bombings in the UK, have brought terrorism into a political focus.
Under UK law, specifically the Race Relations Act 1976, English Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised as ethnic minorities who have the right to protection under the law and to be protected from nuisance, harassment, discrimination and harm from others.
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Whether you are already involved in a lawsuit, or just considering getting help with a legal issue, you may have questions about working with a solicitor. Click through to find practical tips on choosing, meeting with, and hiring a solicitor - including information on fee agreements and expenses.see our hiring a solicitor guide
If you download a song, film, game or software from a file-sharing website or another website (such as a page on a social-networking site) where it's made available, and you do not pay for the item or otherwise obtain it under licence from the copyright holder, then you are infringing someone's copyright.