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The European Convention on Human Rights was drafted as a reaction to the human rights violations of the World Wars the convention was an attempt to ensure that basic human rights would be protected thereafter After being the first nation to sign European Convention on Human Rights in 1951 the British government did not feel it necessary to incorporate the convention into British statute law The primary reason was that the government felt that the rights protected by the treaty were already upheld by the combination of British statute and common law However a growing number of cases where British citizens have been forced to go to the European Court of Human Rights in order to have grievances heard that are protected by the treaty but not by British law resulted in the government reconsidering this position This led the passing of the Human Rights Act in 1998 by the Blair government this incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British statute law The outcome of the Human Rights Act 1998 is that the judiciary in Britain have been granted a new power the ability to deem a law incompatible with the convention This has altered the traditional role of the judiciary throughout the rest of this essay I will examine to what extent the position of the judiciary has been altered by the incorporation of the convention The role of the judiciary in the British system has traditionally been interpretation of the statute law made by Parliament and the common law This stems from the manner in which the judicial system came to be at the end of the English Civil War in 1641 Medieval judges were appointed by the Crown they had the sole ability of declaring and applying the law They did not however have the mandate to amend the law or interpret it in a manner not intended by Parliament During these times some members of the judiciary believed
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