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.

1 comment:

  1. Headline: European Court Says Ian Brady and Rose West must be allowed to vote.

    I begin to wonder if the ECHR has, finally, passed into a kind of institutional senility, unable to distinguish between on the one hand, sophomoric reasoning from poorly conceived principles leading to absurd consequences, and on the other, true wisdom.

    The government ought to reject this ruling in robust terms. It ought not to be implemented to any extent.

    We are bound only because we choose to be within the Convention. If this is a sample of the consequences, we are better off without.

    I refer also to my longer comments on your previous post.