What does Incorporation mean?

The UK Government ratified or signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991. However, despite the fact that courts in the UK may be persuaded by the UNCRC when making legal judgments, they are not bound by it. This means they are free to make decisions that are incompatible with the UNCRC.

For the UK courts to be bound by the UNCRC, the UNCRC must be incorporated into domestic law in the UK. (Domestic laws are those that only apply locally in the UK. They are distinct from International Laws, which apply internationally). This would make the UNCRC part of UK law.

Another example of incorporation is the Human Rights Act, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic UK law. This means that all UK law and decisions of the UK courts must be in line with the ECHR.