Gear up for incorporation, barrister warns

The legal profession must prepare itself for a major adjustment when the European Convention on Human Rights is incorporated into English law, a leading barrister in the field has warned.

Murray Hunt, of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square, which was due to host a conference on the convention's incorporation over the weekend after The Lawyer went to press, said barristers and solicitors would have to adapt to changes in case law. But he said they would not be caught completely off guard by the official arrival of European human rights law: 'Although it has not been a part of English law it has had more and more influence so people have got used to it.'

The Bill was introduced in October and has gone through the House of Lords. It is scheduled to get Royal Assent in July, although there will probably be a gap before it is enacted, to give practitioners time to get to grips with the changes.

More than 200 delegates were expected at the conference and Michael Beloff QC and Cherie Booth QC were invited to open a section on the general principles of the convention.