Roelens Solicitors are strong advocates of Human Rights. We describe below some of the key rights that we seek to defend. There are of course a number of other human rights which are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights as well as other international instruments. ECHR has been incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.
Our senior lawyer has a particular interest in Freedom of Religion and gender based persecution issues. Reports she has co-authored on freedom of religion can be found here:
Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
We all have the right to hold religious and other beliefs. We also have the right to change these beliefs if we decide to do so. We should be free to worship and express such beliefs in both public and private spaces.
We believe that whatever your faith or creed you should have the freedom to practice your beliefs. We are committed to defending people who are at risk of persecution under the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and restrictions of this fundamental right under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article 2 – right to life
We all have the right to life and not to be killed by someone else. People's lives should be protected by the State through its laws and by offering protection to those at risk.
Article 3 – prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
No one should under any circumstances be permitted to subject another person to torture or cruel or degrading treatment. This fundamental right
should be protected by the State.
The most fundamental and unqualified rights are those that protect our life and our freedom from being subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. No one should be subjected to honour killing, sexual violence or FGM.
We also believe that we should be free to fall in love and marry who we wish to and to found a family. No one should be forced into marrying or be forced to deny their sexuality.
Article 8 - right to respect privacy and family life
This right exists to protect four things: our family life, our home, our private life, and our correspondence.
We have the right to live with our family and those we love.
This protects us against intrusion into where we live and from being forced from where we live without good reason.
Respect for private life protects our personal freedoms, including respect for our sexuality, the right not to be placed under unlawful surveillance, nor have personal information spread about us without our permission.
Respect for correspondence permits us to communicate with others freely and in complete privacy.
Article 12 - right to marry
We have the right marry who we want to, and to start a family.
This means that we cannot be forced into marriage nor be be denied the right to marry nor the right to have or adopt children based on our sexuality
or any other protected characteristic.
ECHR and the EU Charter
The European Convention on Human Rights contains overlapping human rights provisions with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, the two operate within separate legal frameworks:
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was drafted by the EU and is interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and is seated in Luxembourg.
The European Convention on Human Rights, on the other hand, was drafted by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and is interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The Charter is in effect the overarching framework for human rights in the EU, and the European Convention on Human Rights forms is a part of this.
The European Convention (ECHR) has been incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998 whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights only applies to matters concerning EU Law although it can be raised in courts in the United Kingdom on such matters.
The firm does not operate the Legal Aid Scheme. However, our senior lawyer has accreditation as a Level 2 Senior caseworker and Supervisor under the Law Society's accreditation scheme and may, subject to availability, be able to conduct exceptional cases via providers of the scheme as a Consultant Solicitor.