Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Are Human Rights equally available to all in the UK?

In the TimesOnline today, is a discussion about what happened in parallel with the introduction of Human Rights Act. Namely that the civil legal aid laws were changed in conjunction with lawyers being permitted to operate with "no win, no fee" policies. While the latter was mean to balance the former, in effect this has failed to happen, with the result that large proportions of UK citizens have been excluded from taking action or benefiting from this Act. This issue is not whether you agree or disagree with the Human Rights Act but that, as a result of these policy changes, a double standard exists to the favour of the very rich and the legally aided versus the majority of UK citizens, most of whom are in neither category. Given that, almost by definition, the Human Rights Act more than any other law, is specifically designed to treat all citizens equally, it is quite ironical that it is unequally accessible to all.