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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: Legislation and policy: Human Rights Act: General

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) came into force on 2 October 2000. From that date, the civil, political, economic and social rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights were incorporated into domestic law. This means that rights given under the Convention may be relied upon directly in our courts and tribunals. In the past, people with a human rights grievance had to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It is now unlawful for any public authority, including Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, to act in a way that is incompatible with another person’s human rights.

The Convention rights are wide-ranging and are interpreted widely by the European Courts. The body of case law that has developed indicates that there are a number of areas where the work of the Revenue and its employees could be potentially open to challenge under the Convention. Contact with customers is one such area. You should be aware of the broad scope of HRA when you are involved with them.

DMBM513150 and DMBM513160 summarise the scope of HRA.

This manual contains guidance that takes into account the general principles of the HRA.