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Your rights

Help with a personal case

If you believe that your Convention rights have been breached you should consider seeking legal advice. If you need help the Community Legal Service Direct brings together organisations offering legal and advice services throughout England and Wales.

You can visit the Community Legal Service Direct website or telephone them on 0845 608 1122.

More detailed official guidance on your rights

We produce a guide to the Human Rights Act which can be found in the publications section of this site.

How you can use the Act to enforce your human rights

If you think that a public authority has breached your Convention rights, you can:

  1. use the Act as a negotiating tool with the public authority
  2. take the authority to court for breaching your rights
  3. rely on the Convention rights in the course of any other proceedings involving a public authority, e.g. judicial review, criminal trial.

If you take the direct route as in (b), you generally have to bring proceedings within a year of the breach. The court can allow you to bring proceedings after a longer period if it thinks this is fair in all the circumstances. This is not necessarily straightforward and you should consider seeking advice from a solicitor or local advice bureau.

Proceedings under the Human Rights Act can only be brought by "victims" of a breach of one or more Convention rights by a public authority. Interest groups and charities cannot bring actions unless they meet the "victim test". But they can assist those who do bring actions.


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