The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into domestic law the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the body of jurisprudence created by the Human Rights institutions in Strasbourg (the European Court of Human Rights and the Commission). The Act came fully into force on 2 October 2000 and requires the courts to give effect to primary and secondary legislation (including tax legislation) in a way which is compatible with the convention (Human Rights Act 1998, s. 3(1)). Thus, the rights of individuals and companies under the convention can be enforced without the necessity for reference to the Court in Strasbourg.

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