The idea for this book first came about when I was looking at the comedy site ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougoandlivethere which picked choice quotes from various discussion boards that (with some considerable hilarity) showcased a variety of ridiculous and reactionary views. I was struck by the number of comments that made increasingly furious references to human rights and reflected a world that was shaped by scare stories totally divorced from legal reality. Criticism of judges and hostility towards the legal process are nothing new, but the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) has served as a lightning rod for populist political anger. The HRA is the piece of legislation that brings the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into British law. Prior to the HRA the ECHR was an instrument to which the UK was a state party, but the rights protected within the ECHR were not justiciable in a UK courtroom. Some of these rights were protected in other parts of UK law, and it was possible if all else failed to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The HRA did not ‘invent’ or ‘create’ rights, but it did make their protection a lot easier.