Archive for October 27th, 2010

Coalition in the dock over prisoner voting
Last week Joshua Rozenberg, writing in The Guardian, stated.. “The government can equivocate no longer, it is legally obliged to remove the blanket ban on voting behind bars…”
Will the Coalition government have a more refined taste for human rights than the last Labour government which declined to comply with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (or dragged a lot of feet to cover all bases)?  Joshua Rozenberg observes:  “To some extent, its hands are tied. Five years have passed since the European court of human rights decided that the general, automatic and indiscriminate restriction on voting by convicted prisoners was a breach of the human rights convention”

“The Prison Reform Trust submitted that the disenfranchisement of sentenced prisoners was a relic from the nineteenth century which dated back to the Forfeiture Act 1870, the origins of which were rooted in a notion of civic death. It argued that social exclusion was a major cause of crime and reoffending, and that the ban on voting militated against ideas of rehabilitation and civic responsibility by further excluding those already on the margins of society and further isolating them from the communities to which they would return on release. It neither deterred crime nor acted as an appropriate punishment.”

Today I am talking to ex-government lawyer Carl Gardner about the ‘Votes for Prisoners’ issue and two key cases on the matter United Kingdom v Hirst and the Frodl decision

Listen to the podcast

I covered this issue in a guest post by John Hirst – which generated a lively discussion.

If you wish to comment on this podcast – please do so – but NOT here. Please do so in the comments section for the original post. This will enable all the comments on the issue to be kept in one place.  (Please TRY to post on the main prisoner vote (link above)  post, as I can’t transfer them without doing so manually!))


Caselaw considered



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