Human rights: would our rights be better protected in or out of Europe?

Aileen McHarg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


To understand the implications of Brexit for fundamental rights protection, it is important to distinguish between two legal Europes. The primary human rights regime in Europe is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – a treaty drawn up by the Council of Europe, which is an older organisation than the EU with a much wider membership. The UK ratified the ECHR in 1951, and since 1966, UK citizens have been able to take cases alleging breaches of Convention rights to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. In 1998, the ECHR was incorporated into the UK’s legal systems by the Human Rights Act (HRA) and the devolution statutes, thereby enabling Convention rights to be enforced in UK courts as well.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritain’s Decision
Subtitle of host publicationFacts and Impartial Analysis for the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016
EditorsCharlie Jeffery, Ray Perman
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2016


  • European union
  • Brexit
  • referendum
  • human rights
  • fundamental rights


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