The Horizontal Effect of Human Rights in the UK after the Removal of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

In the United Kingdom, the constitutional conversation about horizontal effect (i.e. the application of fundamental rights to disputes between private parties) is far from novel. However, over the last decade, the horizontality principle has undergone significant changes in its reach and remedial implications, through human rights litigation before UK courts under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 now purport to remove these changes by limiting the possibility of continued reliance on the direct horizontal effect of EU human rights law. This article analyses the implications of these limitations to horizontal effect. It argues that the EUWA recreates a conceptually problematic gap between the EU and ECHR streams of rights protection in horizontal disputes in UK law. At the same time however, it should not be seen as succeeding in substantively reducing the reach of horizontality to its pre-Charter iteration in respect of all rights.