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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

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A woman in the UK asserts that her rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) have been infringed by a public authority. Although she wishes to protest, she is unwilling to bring court proceedings under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) against the public authority, because of the publicity she might receive, and because of the possible cost. The woman’s wealthy cousin is not affected by the alleged infringement, but says she would be willing to bring proceedings on behalf of the woman. 

Can the cousin bring legal proceedings as the woman’s representative under the HRA?

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Under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), only a victim of the alleged infringement has standing to bring an action. This is outlined in Section 7 of the HRA, which specifies that a person who claims that a public authority has acted (or proposes to act) in a way which is made unlawful by the Act may bring proceedings against the authority. Since the cousin is not a victim of the alleged infringement, she does not have standing to bring proceedings on behalf of the woman. 

Key Point: Standing under the Human Rights Act 1998 is limited to victims of the alleged infringement, ensuring that only those directly affected by a breach can bring a claim. This principle maintains the integrity of the legal process and ensures that claims are brought by individuals who have a genuine interest in the outcome.

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