European Convention rights in the UK
European Convention rights guaranteed under the Human Rights Act (simplified version)
Article 1 sets out the obligation for the UK to respect the rights in the European Convention
Article 2 Everyone has the right to life. There are only certain and very limited circumstances where it is acceptable for the state to take away someone's life, e.g. if a police officer acts in self-defence from unlawful violence.
Article 3 Everyone has the right to be free from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. You have the absolute right not to be tortured or punished in a way that is degrading or humiliating.
Article 4 Everyone should be free from slavery and forced labour. You have the absolute right not to be treated as a slave.
Article 5 Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. You have the right not to be imprisoned unlawfully. There are only certain circumstances when you can be detained following a legal process, for example if you have been arrested or convicted by a crime, or detained for health reasons or to be deported. If you are detained, you must be able to bring proceedings to challenge your detention.
Article 6 Everyone has the right to a fair trial, and to be presumed innocent until found guilty, if they are facing a criminal charge. You have the right to a fair trial, and are innocent until proven guilty. You have the right to defend yourself or to be represented by a lawyer and to be clearly informed of the case against you. There must be real and effective access to a court, this may require legal aid.
Article 7 No one can be found guilty of a crime if there was no law against it when the act was committed. This is an absolute right.
Article 8 Everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, home and correspondence. You have the right to respect for your private and family life, your home, your letters and emails. This right is not absolute and can be limited by law if necessary for reasons such as national security and public safety, but any limitations must be necessary to meet the specific aim and must be proportionate.
Article 9 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. You have a right to hold a range of views and beliefs to exercise your religion or belief (e.g. through prayer). Article 9 also covers the right to have no religion or to have non-religious beliefs protected. This right is not absolute and can be limited by law if necessary for reasons such as national security and public safety, but any limitations must be necessary to meet the specific aim and must be proportionate.
Article 10 Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. Also referred to as the right to free speech which states that you have a right to hold opinions and have your say peacefully and as long as you respect other people. You also have the right to receive information. Public authorities can limit this right as long as there is a legal basis, is necessary and proportionate and pursues one of several legitimate aims, such as the prevention of a crime or the protection of the reputation or rights of others.
Article 11 Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. This is closely related to Article 10 and means that you have a right to get together with other people in a peaceful way. This includes peaceful protests, joining unions and joining societies or associations (such as Amnesty International). Public authorities can legally restrict this right in circumstances which are legal, necessary and proportionate aim and pursues a legitimate aim, such as the prevention of a crime or for the protection of others.
Article 12 Everyone has the right to marry and found a family. You have the right to get married and have a family. The national law sets the minimum age this can take place at. Laws on marriage must not be arbitrary and must not interfere with the essence of the right.
(Article 13 - regarding effective remedy for the violation of Convention rights under domestic law - is not included in the Human Rights Act).
Article 14 Everyone has these rights regardless of their gender, race, language, religion, etc. You have the right not to be treated unfairly by public authorities in the enjoyment of your rights because of your race, religion, sex, disability or any other status. This is not a free-standing right, but provides that all Convention rights are guaranteed without discrimination.
- For the full text of the Human Rights Act see www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukpga_19980042_en_1
Protocols that have been added later
Protocol 1, Article 1
Everyone has the right to own property. You have the right to peaceful enjoyment of the things you own. Public authorities can not interfere with things you own. Nobody should take your things away from you unless there are very good reasons, e.g. you are causing a danger to other people.
Protocol 1, Article 2
Everyone has the right to education. Parents have the right to choose the type of education for their child based on their religious and philosophical beliefs. You have the right to have the same chance as everyone else to go to school or college and learn the things you want.
Protocol 1, Article 3
Everyone has the right to take part in free elections. Elections must be free and fair and take place by a secret ballot. The national law sets the minimum age this can take place at.
Protocol 13, Article 1
The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed; even in time of war (replaces the Sixth Protocol from June 2004). The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed.