European court decision on prisoners right to vote!

  Flak999 14:34 23 May 2012

The Grand chamber of the European court has denied the appeal of the UK Government over it's blanket ban on denying convicted criminals the right to vote. This decision which has been the subject of wide reporting in some sections of the media has been roundly condemned by all sides of the political establishment, as the UK Parliament had already voted against allowing prisoners the right to vote.

Articles on the subject appear here in the Daily Mail and also in the Daily Telegraph

What do the rest of you think on this subject? My view is that I don't believe that all prisoners should have the right to vote, but I am not so vehemently against this particular decision.

My strong objection is to the fact that an unelected court made up of people who are not eminent members of the legal profession can hand down a decree which overrides the decision of a sovereign countries democratically elected legislature.

What say you all?

  Mr Mistoffelees 15:04 23 May 2012

The right to vote should be one of the things you give-up when you commit, and are convicted, of a crime.

  wiz-king 15:05 23 May 2012

I have to say I agree with the court - if someone who is serving a short custodial sentence they are supposed to be being 'rehabilitated', if they want to postal vote they should be able to. However if their sentence is longer than one parliamentary term they should not get the vote - that should be easy to administer.

  Mr Mistoffelees 15:06 23 May 2012

To add to the above:

and get locked up.

  spuds 16:14 23 May 2012

I could be completely wrong here, but wasn't all this started and based on a prisoner and convicted murderer who considered his Human Rights were not being adhered to?.

I only wish My Human Rights were treated and considered in the same way, when I have sought help in this respect, and The Human Rights Act. But then again, I am just a law abiding citizen!.

My thoughts personally, is that perhaps we here in the UK should do the same as some of our EU cousin's?.

  bremner 16:49 23 May 2012

Some people really do need to get over their Daily Mail fixation :o)

It is cases like this that give the European Court such a bad name, they should look to real breaches of human rights.

Hopefully the government will say the blanket ban is to be replaced by a ban on anyone serving more than a year in prison, as I have seen suggested.

  Forum Editor 19:06 23 May 2012

Leaving the Daily Mail's utterances to one side for a moment....

Perhaps a compromise situation might be for the power to disenfranchise convicted people to be placed in the hands of the sentencing judge.

'I sentence you to a term of three years imprisonment, during which time you will lose your right to vote in elections of any kind.'

A situation would rapidly arise whereby a sentencing protocol would emerge from judicial decisions. No blanket legislation required, in fact it's probable that very little would be required by way of legislation.

  Al94 19:48 23 May 2012

I doubt if that compromise would work. Surely if a judge ruled in that fashion, the defendant would successfully appeal to the European Court of Human Rights that his rights had been violated?

  morddwyd 20:14 23 May 2012

Interesting comment from Cameron, about decisions being overruled by a "foreign court"

Since our Union accession means that we agreed to our courts being subject to being overruled it;s a bit late to complain now!

Didn't see him complaining too loudly when the Scottish courts were recently overruled by a "foreign" court.

Once again, either we are in the EU or not.. We cannot just cherry pick the nice bits of the Union that we agree with.

  Flak999 20:23 23 May 2012


Once again, either we are in the EU or not.. We cannot just cherry pick the nice bits of the Union that we agree with.

Actually, the European court is nothing to do with the European Union! see here ECHR

  birdface 20:33 23 May 2012

A question in the House of Parliament today to the PM. Will you personally stop prisoners from Voting. Yes I would but it is up to Parliament and not me.So another backward step from the PM who has stated that prisoners would not be allowed to vote.

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