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Law and the Media, 4th Edition by Estelle Overs, Tom Cassels, Tom Crone

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19 The Human Rights Act 1998

Hugh Tomlinson QC

19.1 Introduction

The Human Rights Act 1998 (the ‘HRA’) came into effect on 2 October 2000. It is designed to ‘give further effect’ to the rights and freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (the ‘Convention’) and to make them enforceable in the courts of the United Kingdom. It is now unlawful for ‘public authorities’, including courts, to act in a way that is incompatible with Convention rights. A number of these rights, including the right to freedom of expression (Article 10) and the right to respect for private life (Article 8), are of particular importance for the media. The law of defamation is potentially subject to substantial change as a result of the HRA. In addition, ...

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