What is the Human Rights Act?
The Human Rights Act aims to protect people's rights. It came into force in 1988 and confirms the basic human rights that were agreed in the European Convention of Human Rights after the Second World War.
The Act places a duty on all public authorities in the UK to behave in a way that respects and fits with the rights set out in the European Convention.
Public authorities include:
- government departments
- local authorities (councils)
- hospitals and GP surgeries
- public libraries
- transport bodies
- the police.
How does the Human Rights Act affect me?
If you believe that your rights have been denied because you have hearing loss, you may be able to bring a case under the Human Rights Act. You can also raise the Human Rights Act in any other case if it's relevant. For example, if you bring a case against a service provider under the Equality Act, then the court must consider whether the Human Rights Act is relevant to any part of the case.
You may also be able to use the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in support of a claim under the Human Rights Act.
Why is the Human Rights Act important?
The Human Rights Act influences the way public services are delivered to disabled people. The Human Rights Act says that providers of public services, such as staff at residential homes, educational bodies or hospitals, or carers in your own home, must make sure that they do not breach your human rights.
For more information and examples of which articles of the European Convention could apply specifically to people who have hearing loss, see our factsheet The Human Rights Act.