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Criminal Justice under the United Kingdom Human Rights Act: Dynamic Interaction between Domestic and International Law

Liora Lazarus & Ryan Goss

(2013) 25 SAcLJ 755

The UK criminal justice system has been subject to the protections of the European Convention on Human Rights since the right to individual petition to the European Court of Human Rights was granted to UK citizens in 1966. The Convention rights became the subject of domestic UK litigation with the Human Rights Act 1998. This essay demonstrates how, both before and after the Human Rights Act, UK courts and legislators have sought to reconcile common law approaches to protecting rights and liberties with the approaches of the Strasbourg Court. It uses the development of the case law as an insight into a dynamic institutional dialogue: how interaction with the European Court of Human Rights has shaped the way that UK courts, governments and Parliament have acted on criminal justice issues and vice versa.