This article discusses the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). It suggests that the HRA is designed to promote a classic liberal conception of political citizenship, which protects the individual from the exercise of arbitrary state power, and not to extend the role of the state as a welfare provider. It goes on to argue that the government has limited the effectiveness of the HRA by claiming that they are building a culture of rights and responsibilities whilst treating human rights as an issue for the courts rather than an issue for government and public authorities generally. The article concludes by discussing extending the HRA to include economic, social and cultural rights.
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