This paper was originally presented at a seminar in Chambers in November 2005.
“It is five years since the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”) came into force. The impact has been limited for a number of reasons:
EC law has covered much of the field in employment law and, in certain respects, goes further than the ECHR in the substantive rights conferred, and further than the provision by the HRA in the ability of individuals to rely upon such rights;
Employment law raises issues of social and economic rights, which are mainly not addressed by the ECHR but by the European Social Charter (which has not been incorporated into domestic law);
Even where ECHR rights are directly involved, the variations in practice between contracting states has meant that the EctHR has afforded states a wide margin of appreciation and has been reluctant to intervene….”
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