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Human Rights Act 1998

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LegislationE+W+S+N.I.

3 Interpretation of legislation.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)So far as it is possible to do so, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights.

(2)This section—

(a)applies to primary legislation and subordinate legislation whenever enacted;

(b)does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of any incompatible primary legislation; and

(c)does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of any incompatible subordinate legislation if (disregarding any possibility of revocation) primary legislation prevents removal of the incompatibility.

4 Declaration of incompatibility.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Subsection (2) applies in any proceedings in which a court determines whether a provision of primary legislation is compatible with a Convention right.

(2)If the court is satisfied that the provision is incompatible with a Convention right, it may make a declaration of that incompatibility.

(3)Subsection (4) applies in any proceedings in which a court determines whether a provision of subordinate legislation, made in the exercise of a power conferred by primary legislation, is compatible with a Convention right.

(4)If the court is satisfied—

(a)that the provision is incompatible with a Convention right, and

(b)that (disregarding any possibility of revocation) the primary legislation concerned prevents removal of the incompatibility,

it may make a declaration of that incompatibility.

(5)In this section “court” means—

[F1(a)the Supreme Court;]

(b)the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council;

(c)the [F2Court Martial Appeal Court] ;

(d)in Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary sitting otherwise than as a trial court or the Court of Session;

(e)in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, the High Court or the Court of Appeal.

[F3(f)the Court of Protection, in any matter being dealt with by the President of the Family Division, the Vice-Chancellor or a puisne judge of the High Court.]

(6)A declaration under this section (“a declaration of incompatibility”)—

(a)does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of the provision in respect of which it is given; and

(b)is not binding on the parties to the proceedings in which it is made.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F2Words in s. 4(5)(c) substituted (28.3.2009 for certain purposes and 31.10.2009 otherwise) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), ss. 378, 383, Sch. 16 para. 156; S.I. 2009/812, art. 3 (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059); S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

5 Right of Crown to intervene.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where a court is considering whether to make a declaration of incompatibility, the Crown is entitled to notice in accordance with rules of court.

(2)In any case to which subsection (1) applies—

(a)a Minister of the Crown (or a person nominated by him),

(b)a member of the Scottish Executive,

(c)a Northern Ireland Minister,

(d)a Northern Ireland department,

is entitled, on giving notice in accordance with rules of court, to be joined as a party to the proceedings.

(3)Notice under subsection (2) may be given at any time during the proceedings.

(4)A person who has been made a party to criminal proceedings (other than in Scotland) as the result of a notice under subsection (2) may, with leave, appeal to the [F4Supreme Court] against any declaration of incompatibility made in the proceedings.

(5)In subsection (4)—

  • criminal proceedings” includes all proceedings before the [F5Court Martial Appeal Court]; and

  • leave” means leave granted by the court making the declaration of incompatibility or by the [F6Supreme Court]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F5Words in s. 5(5) substituted (28.3.2009 for certain purposes and 31.10.2009 otherwise) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), ss. 378, 383, Sch. 16 para. 157; S.I. 2009/812, art. 3 (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2009/1059); S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

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