Many would have come across the talks relating to the Human Rights Act especially within the context of Immigration. The Human Rights Act 1998 is legislation which protects the fundamental Human Rights and all decision made by the UK (as for any other member state who is a signatory to it) must not contravene any of the rights protected by this legislation.
Of course this is therefore remains a discretionary exercises in most cases and case law is usually used to determine how to exercise this discretion. The Secretary of State frequently finds itself in a position where they do not agree with the rights being claimed by a person in the UK but in accordance with rights under the Human Rights Act has to grant status.
For the purposes of immigration the two most common Articles used to support Human Rights Application are Article 8 (right to private and family life) and Article 3 (No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) and Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life). You can read the full version of the act at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/schedule/1
For more detailed insight into how the Human Rights Act can affect your proposed applications or whether in fact you have Human Rights that you can claim but are not sure of the exact details please contact our office and book in a consultation with a qualified advisor.