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.

Articles 1, 2, 3 of Protocol 1

Article 1 of Protocol 1: Right to property

This is a qualified right that protects your right to property. Property includes:

  • land
  • houses
  • money
  • pensions
  • some welfare benefits.

If you have a mental health problem, the right to property may be relevant to you in the following situations:

  • Where public sector landlords or local authorities are discriminating against you in relation to housing.
  • Where your benefits assessments and/or payments are carried out incorrectly or in a discriminatory way.
  • Where your possessions are lost by state institutions, such as in care homes or hospitals.


Janelle has been told by the local authority landlord that she is not allowed to stay in her flat because she has depression.

This could be a breach of her rights under Article 1 of Protocol 1: Right to property.


Article 2 of Protocol 1: Right to education

This is a non-absolute right which protects the right to education and makes sure that students have access to education and teaching.

This includes:

  • The right to go to school, university or other education institution.
  • The right to get official recognition when studies have been completed, like a certificate of completion or university degree.

The right to education is particularly important when it comes to children and young people with mental health problems. No child or young person below the school leaving age should be denied access to education just because they are receiving medical treatment for a mental health problem.


James is a 14 year old boy detained under section 3. He is not allowed to go to school and does not receive any education.

This could be a breach of his right to education.


Article 3 of Protocol 1: Right to vote

This right can be restricted by law, for example, the minimum age to vote is 18 and people serving a prison sentence are not able to vote.

If you have mental health problems or are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, you do have the right to vote.


Joseph is detained under section 3. He has been told that he is not allowed to vote in the next elections. This could be a breach of his right to vote.



This information was published in August 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

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