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Human Rights Act to come into force 3 May 2006

The Island’s Human Rights Act will come into force on November 1st this year under an Appointed Day Order made by the Council of Ministers.

The Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into Manx law so that residents will be able to take action in local courts for alleged breaches of their human rights.

The Isle of Man has been covered by the Convention since the 1950s and residents will still have the option of taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg.

Chief Minister Donald Gelling MLC explained:

‘The principles embodied in the Human Rights Act are not new, but they will be more accessible to the people of the Island. The Council of Ministers believes that bringing the Act into force is an important step in the right direction, reinforcing our system of justice and our international reputation.’

The Act received Royal Assent in 2001, after which there was an extensive programme of education and training to help public bodies to prepare for its introduction. Information will be updated and re-issued in the six months leading up to November 1st.

Existing legislation has also been reviewed in advance of the Act taking effect. Changes to two areas in particular – the independent appointment and operation of tribunals, and the regulation of surveillance powers – are now either completed or well underway.

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