What constitutes a public authority for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998

This note examines what constitutes a public authority for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998).

The distinction between public authorities and public functions and private bodies and private functions is unclear, particularly in relation to hybrid bodies, where only some functions may be public (section 6(5), HRA 1998). The position is made more difficult with public/private partnership arrangements and public bodies contracting out functions to the private sector.

This distinction is important because a public authority must not act in a way that is incompatible with the Convention rights (section 6, HRA 1998).


 

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