Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. Everyone is equally entitled to human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. The Human Rights Act was introduced by Labour in 1998. Although it has many positive effects it has fallen under scrutiny in recent years, as there is a cause for concern over whether or not everyone should be entitled to the same rights.
Arguably the most controversial point of the Human Rights Act is its obligation to support criminals and terrorists, this was recently highlighted in a small number of high-profile cases such as Abu Qatada, the hate preacher. Qatada was an asylum seeker who claimed to have suffered from torture in his home country of Jordan. His application was accepted and Qatada was granted refugee status in the UK. He was detained several times for acts of various different terrorism offences however was found not guilty and remained in the UK. On 12 November 2012, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) upheld Abu Qatada's appeal against deportation and released him on restrictive bail conditions. This was a very unpopular decision, even though officially it was against his human rights the Home Secretary Theresa May said the government would appeal against the decision. Abu Qatada was deported to Jordan on 7 July 2013, after an agreement between the Uk and Jordan was made. This particular case raises some very controversial issues with Human Rights Act, as it raises the issue of whether or not terrorists, murders, rapes and others who commit terrible crimes are entitled to the same human rights as everyone else and if so where do you draw the line?
The Human Rights Act is not entirely controversial, on the whole most people would agree that it is good to have laws that protect you if your basic human rights are breached. The HRA gives people a safeguard of democratic values, it treats everyone as an equal and it gives people the right to such things as freedom of speech, the right to liberty and the right to a fair trial. It allows people to know exactly what their rights are as a citizen of the U.K. Before the HRA people had to rely primarily on the self-restraint of the government. In these ways it is not so controversial as most human beings agree that these are things we all should be entitled to and it is necessary to have a bill to enforce this.