From monologue to dialogue - the relationship between UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights
183, Part II, Chapter 6
The UK's Statutory Bill of Rights: Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives
Proceedings of the British Academy
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In recent years, there has been considerable discussion of the dialogue which takes place between UK courts, adjudicating in claims brought under the Human Rights Act 1998, and the European Court of Human Rights. This chapter examines the characteristics of this relationship and, utilising case law examples, considers the question of whether the metaphor of dialogue is entirely accurate. Also considered are the outcomes, both actual and potential, from a dialogue between national courts and a supranational court. It is clear that dialogue can have an impact on the creation of human rights norms, judicial power, and the legitimacy of human rights law. The UK example is employed to illustrate these outcomes in practice, and also to highlight the potential pitfalls of extensive dialogue with a supranational court.