Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Prisoners and the right to vote
Voting for prisoners has now moved up the government's reform agenda. The idea is unpopular in some quarters because there is a view that those serving sentences of imprisonment have lost the moral right to participate in the government of the country. However, the government must act because of the stance adopted by the European Court of Human Rights and the concern expressed by the Council of Ministers that the U.K. has delayed implementation of the court's rulings. A useful document produced by Parliament looks at this issue in depth - see here. A previous post on this blog may be read here
The U.K. is bound, as a matter of international law, to implement decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. In recent times compliance has sometimes been avoided by various methods such as putting the matter out to consultation etc. [There have been two consultations on prisoner voting]. In other cases, compliance is to the minimum level which Ministers think they can get away with.
Further information is available on the Prison Reform Trust website.