Report: Human Rights Act: a guide for councillors

This guide aims to give councillors an understanding of the Human Rights Act and its bearing on their work as part of the local authority. It uses case studies to illustrate situations where the Act might be relevant to the activities of a local authority.

Human rights will not be relevant to every issue a councillor encounters. However, by understanding Convention rights councillors will be more likely to know when they are relevant, when they are not, and help to ensure that decisions and outcomes are sound and fair. It is surprising just how far reaching the impact Convention rights can have on an authority’s activities. Areas of local authority activity which are likely to engage the Convention include:

  • Employing staff
  • Adult and children’s social services
  • Data protection (including CCTV use)
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Licensing
  • Planning
  • Registrars
  • Trading standards
  • Enforcement
  • Prosecutions
  • Customer services
  • Complaints
  • Regulatory