THE new Human Rights Act is now law and a Bromsgrove solicitor expects it will cause many problems in court.

Norman Robertson Smith is a partner at Morton Fisher Solicitors, in St John Street.

He is one of 27 solicitors in the UK listed by the Law Society as having experience in human rights cases.

The Human Rights Act makes it unlawful for a public authority to behave against protected rights of a citizen.

Mr Robertson Smith told the Advertiser: "Many police procedures, such as forensic examinations or identity parades are likely to come under attack.

"The act states each side should have an equal chance in preparing and presenting its case.

"Police and prosecution have unlimited resources where necessary, but legal aid can be curtailed or refused.

"How can an innocent accused person get a fair hearing if he cannot afford to pay for his own case?"

The lawyer also expects an increase in actions against prison authorities.

He said: "Most people believe that a prisoner's civil rights should be forfeited but the convention says only a person's liberty may be deprived.

"His right to a family life, religion or marriage may survive."

The work place could also be affected. The European Court has already said interception of private calls or e-mails may constitute unwarranted intrusion.