The Convention Rights

Sepember 2000

83.11 Article 2

Right to life

The relevant public authority must, under the law, protect the right to life. There are a limited number of circumstances where it is not a contravention of this Article to take someone’s life, providing the force used is not more than absolutely necessary, e.g. when defending a person from an attack.

83.12 Article 3

Right to freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

The relevant public authority has a positive obligation to secure the rights guaranteed under this Article. This includes the prevention of breaches by one private individual against another, particularly against children and other vulnerable persons.

83.13 Article 4

Prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour

Certain types of labour, such as could ordinarily be expected to be carried out as part of a prison sentence are excluded from this Article.

83.14 Article 5

Right to liberty and security of person

A person has the right not to be arrested or detained, except where the detention is authorised by law. This applies to all types of detention, subject to detention prescribed by law for the purposes specified, including for medical or psychiatric reasons. There are various circumstances where it is acceptable for someone to be detained, e.g. after conviction by a criminal court.

83.15 Article 6

Right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time

This right covers all criminal and many civil cases, as well as cases heard by tribunals and some internal hearings or regulatory procedures. In criminal proceedings there is the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and to be given adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence.

83.16 Article 7

Freedom from retrospective criminal law and no punishment without law

A person may not be convicted of an act which was not a criminal offence at the time it was committed, nor can they, having committed a criminal offence, face a heavier penalty that that which was in place when the act in question happened. Guidance on how this relates to Insolvency Act offences will be issued by Enforcement Directorate.

83.17 Article 8

Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence

For interference in a person’s private life to be justified, a public authority must have legal authority to do so, the interference must be necessary in a democratic society for one of the aims stated in the Article and it must be proportionate to that aim. This Article has very wide scope and will not only include matters such as interception of mail, monitoring of phone calls and entering a person’s home, but will also cover the right not to suffer from environmental hazard.

83.18 Article 9

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Everyone is entitled to hold whatever beliefs they wish and is guaranteed the right to manifest their religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

83.19 Article 10

Freedom of expression

This covers what is said in conversation, publishing, broadcasting, the Internet and many other areas and applies to the media as well as other individuals. It is, however, a qualified right and may be subject to proportionate restrictions prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society.

83.20 Article 11

Freedom of assembly and association

This includes the right of people to demonstrate peacefully and to join (or choose not to join) trade unions.

83.21 Article 12

Right to marry and found a family

Men and women of marriageable age have this right.

83.22 Article 14

Prohibition of discrimination in the enjoyment of the Convention rights

The discrimination can be on the grounds of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status. For this article to apply there must be another Convention right at issue to which a claim of discrimination can be attached.

83.23 Article 16

Restrictions on political activity of aliens

Nothing in Articles 10, 11 and 14 shall be regarded as preventing the countries or States which have adopted the European Convention from imposing restrictions on the political activity of aliens.

83.24 Article 17

Prohibition of abuse of rights

The Convention does not give anyone the right to act in a way which destroys any of the rights and freedoms granted by the Convention. The aim of this article is to safeguard the provisions of the Convention from abuse by extremists.

83.25 Article 18

Limitation on use of restrictions on rights

This Article limits the restrictions which are permitted to rights and freedoms under the Convention to the purposes for which they are prescribed in the Act. This is aimed at ensuring rights and freedoms are restricted only for legitimate reasons and not from any ulterior motive. This Article, like Article 14, can only be invoked when there has been violation of another Article.

83.26 First Protocol - Article 1

Peaceful enjoyment of possessions and protection of property

As well as tangible items such as houses and cars, "property" is, for this Article a wide category. Thus it can include, for example, such things as shares, licences, goodwill and, in some cases, the right to engage in a profession as well as the right to enforce a legal claim or of access to or control of it. No one should be deprived of their property except where the action is permitted by law and justifiable in the public or general interest.

83.27 First Protocol - Article 2

Right to education

No one should be denied the right to education and the State should respect the rights of parents to ensure that it conforms with their religious and philosophical convictions.

83.28 First Protocol - Article 3

Right to free elections

This applies to elections to the legislature which must be free and fair and held at reasonable intervals.

83.29 Sixth Protocol - Articles 1 and 2

Abolition of the death penalty, except in time of war

Article 1 abolished the death penalty, although Article 2 allows a State to make provision for the death penalty for acts committed in time of war.


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