By: Simon B
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Protecting your rights
Protecting your rights has a whole range of rights under UK law. You may find your way through life never coming across a situation where your rights are denied you – but you’ll be a very lucky and unusual individual if that’s the case. Problems usually arise when other people you come into contact with aren’t aware of your rights, or your rights are in conflict with theirs.
If you do get into an issue over your rights, you have several options. Taking court action should always be the last resort, as it can be costly and you can end up losing. The first step is to get the right advice so that you’re absolutely sure of your ground; then go through all the complaints and negotiation procedures open to you; accept independent mediation by a third party to try to resolve the situation; and use an Ombudsman scheme, if one is available for your particular dispute. At any point during the process, you may decide that you’d rather forfeit your rights than getting embroiled in a lengthy legal battle in order to enforce them.
If you do decide to take legal action, make sure that you understand the way the court procedures work and that you get lawyers with the right experience to fight your corner. Be prepared to lose. If a dispute over rights ends up in court for a resolution, it’s usually far from clear-cut, and the judgement may come down in favour of either party.
Many disputes that started out over fairly minor matters have ended up becoming an obsession for the people involved and have had dire consequences. There’s no point in losing the shirt off your back over the height of the hedge next door. Even if you win the case, you’d never have a cordial relationship with your neighbour again. It can be cheaper to move house and move on. In these posts, I give you some ways that you can avoid making the trip to court.