Human Rights Act 1998

A general guide to the Human Rights Act, with information about your human rights and what you can do if someone doesn’t respect them. Applies to England and Wales.


In the UK, our human rights are protected by law. This law is called the Human Rights Act 1998.

Quick facts

  • You are protected under the Human Rights Act if you live in the UK. This includes if you are a foreign national, detained in hospital or in prison.
  • If a court agrees that your human rights have been breached, it can make a declaration of incompatibility. The government would then decide whether the law needs changing as a result.

Please note

  • This guide only covers the Human Rights Act from the point of view of a person with a mental health problem.
  • This guide applies to England and Wales.
  • This guide contains general legal information, not legal advice. We recommend you get advice from a specialist legal adviser or solicitor who will help you with your specific situation and needs. See Useful contacts for more information.


This information was published in January 2015. We will revise it in 2017.

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