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3.5 Common law

This may be a familiar term that you have encountered in newspaper reports or on the television or radio. Common law has its roots in history. In 1066, William the Conqueror began to establish a strong central government and to standardise the law in England. Representatives of the King were sent
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1.2 The growth of the legal system

The legal system plays a significant and growing role in society as our lives become governed by an increasing number of laws. As our society has become more sophisticated, a greater number of laws have been required. This in turn has resulted in our legal system becoming increasingly more complex. Changes in technology, the way in which we live and the types of relationships we have are all reflected by the law. Society expects the law to reflect its ideas, values and culture, so the law has
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2.1 The Houses of Parliament

In this unit we will be concentrating on how Acts of Parliament are made in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate procedures for making legal rules, although they are largely similar. In England and Wales, Parliament consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The site of the Houses of Parliament is the Palace of Westminster in London. The Palace of Westminster was a royal palace and the former residence of monarchs.

The UK Parliament dates f
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Acknowledgements

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2.3 Social work and social change

The social work profession in Scotland is undergoing a period of significant change at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In a process which largely mirrors developments across the UK, new systems for the education and regulation of social workers have been introduced to improve standards in the provision of social services, to raise public confidence and protect service users. For the first time entrants to the profession are required to obtain an undergraduate degree in social work,
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1 The importance of law in social work education

In this unit you will be asked to reflect on the meanings of both social work and law. You will find that these concepts are open to a range of possible definitions, and that the functions of social work and law can change depending on the practice context. Their meaning is also affected by the perspective from which they are viewed, for example the service user's experience of social work and law will not always match the expectations of the professional, or the perceptions of the general pu
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • be able to describe the relationship between social work practice and the law;

  • understand the legal framework that regulates social work in Scotland;

  • have an awareness of the role of law in countering discrimination.


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3.3 Summary of part C

What the courts have established in the cases we have looked at is not a hard and fast privacy doctrine, but a situation in which each case is decided by individual judges on its particular merits. There is no free-standing right to privacy for individuals to enforce. However, where individuals have a strong countervailing interest to protect, the courts are willing to uphold their right to confidence.

  • Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones successf
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4.2 Effect of the ECHR on English law prior to the Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) received the Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and the main provisions were brought into effect on 2 October 2000. However, the UK had by then been a signatory to and had ratified the ECHR for nearly fifty years. What was the effect, if any, of the Convention on UK domestic law? We have already noted the supremacy of Parliament as the main law-making body in the UK. Under English law international treaties do not become part of domestic law unless and until some
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3.8 Summary of Part B

In Part B you learned more about the ECHR and the procedures of the ECtHR and how protocols have been used to ensure that the ECHR remains a living instrument. Part B also explored the new challenges created by the rapid expansion of HCPs at the end of the last century and the proposals for reform of the ECtHR.


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3.7 The growth of the ECHR

The achievements of the ECHR are many. It continues to promote human rights and democracy across Europe, it has established jurisprudence in human rights and it has made significant contributions to the continued peace and stability of Europe. Recent reforms mean that the right of individual petition is now guaranteed, so individuals are afforded protection from the power of the state. The number of HCPs has expanded to 46 and access to the protection of the ECHR and the ECtHR is available to
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3.6 The terms of the European Convention on Human Rights

In 1952 the HCPs agreed that the European Convention on Human Rights should be extended to cover additional rights and freedoms. At the time of drafting the original treaty there were heated debates about whether rights relating to property, education and democratic participation were fundamental human rights. As a compromise these were omitted from the original treaty. Their later inclusion was achieved by an instrument known as a protocol, which, although much shorter than the original ECHR
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3.5 The European Court of Human Rights

Section II of the European Convention on Human Rights comprises thirty-three articles, which are all related to the setting up and conduct of proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights. They include, for example, the power to make rules governing how applications are made to the Court, how the Court is conducted, how judges are appointed to the Court and their period of appointment. Each HCP is able to appoint one judge to the European Court of Human Rights.

In its original f
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3.4 The development of the European Convention on Human Rights

The aftermath of the Second World War was a time of great activity in the realms of human rights throughout the world, and the United Nations Charter itself, signed on 26 June 1945, included an obligation on states to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms. The development of an International Bill of Rights was significantly influenced by the commencement of the Cold War. However, that did not prevent the signing of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
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3.3 What were the fundamental human rights which required protection?

Earlier in this unit you explored why certain rights were considered to be basic human rights. These can be described as those rights of individuals or groups relating to human dignity and fundamental freedoms, which require legal protection from adverse interference by the state, where those rights derive from the fact of being human. Such rights can be traced back to two aspects of international law, namely customary international law and treaty law. The former derives from the customs adop
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Introduction

This unit considers the growth of human rights and humanitarian law before looking at the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in detail. It will also look at the position of human rights in the UK and the effect of the Human Rights Act 1998.

This unit is an adapted extract from the course Rules, rights and justice: an introduction to law (W100)


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7.1 Towards a constitution

The European treaties establishing the European Union:

  • create an institutional structure for decision making, and

  • set out the freedoms of the individuals and the limits of the decision-making powers over the citizens.

The treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was signed by the member states in October 2004. However, at the time of writing (2005), the process of ratification is in abeyance following the rejecti
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3.4 How does the EU operate?

The EU operates through institutions created in the treaties. These institutions can have decision-making powers, law-making powers or may act as part of a checking and consultation procedure.

The institutions include:

  1. The European Parliament (represents the people of the EU).

  2. The Council of the European Union (represents the member states of the EU).

  3. The European Commission (represents the interests of the EU).
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3.4 Did I make a rough estimate to act as a check?

When using a calculator many people have ‘blind faith’ in its capacity to provide the correct result.

Calculators invariably provide the co
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Acknowledgements

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Ficure 2: Crown copyright
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