Law

Statutory Interpretation of the Human Rights Act 1998 by the UK Courts

However, the courts have treated such evaluations as mere exaggeration. Whilst pronouncing such judgements the courts have stressed that they have given due consideration to Parliament’s sovereign intentions2.In the Von Colson case, the EU made it mandatory for the national law to implement a specific EU Directive3. However, in Marleasing the EU required the national courts to interpret national legislation in accordance with the provisions of the pertinent EU Directives4. However, the UK Courts though agreeable to implementing the principle established in Von Colson, were unwilling to accede to the obligation established in the Marleasing judgement.In Duke v. GEC Reliance Ltd, the plaintiff Mrs. Duke’s employment had been terminated as she had attained the age of sixty years. However, men were allowed to work till the age of sixty – five5. The national courts did not revoke her termination orders, because she had applied to the court prior to the passing of the 1986 Sex Discrimination Act. The ECJ held that this decision breached the Equal Treatment Directive of 1976. This case clearly illustrates the reluctance of the UK courts to interpret national laws in accordance with EU Directives6.Subsequent, to the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998, the ECHR or European Court of Human Rights’ Influence on UK legislation was negligible. There was a marked lack of enthusiasm in the UK to conform to the prevalent international standards in this context. The ECJ had reiterated on several occasions that the judiciary of the UK had to incorporate into their law the precepts of the EU law as also the principles that evolved from the ECHR. Nevertheless, the national courts chose to avoid doing so7.Tony Blair integrated the European Convention into the national law of the UK. Afterwards, the Human Rights Act was ratified in 1998, this served to make the UK legislation akin to the laws of the US and themember states of the EU.

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