Prisoners Lose Voting Rights Compensation Bid

A group of British prisoners have lost a compensation bid for being denied the right to vote.

However, the European Court of Human Rights said in its ruling that denying them the vote was a breach of their human rights.

Ten prisoners took the case to the ECHR after being denied the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament on June 4, 2009.

Explaining their decision that being denied a vote was a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the judges said the case was identical to another case brought by a UK prisoner when it was ruled that a ban was a breach.

They accepted the UK had taken steps about the situation by producing a draft bill and a report from a committee which recommended that prisoners who were serving 12 months or less should be eligible to vote.

However, the judges observed, the legislation remained unchanged currently, therefore there was a violation of the convention.

The court refused the prisoners’ demand for compensation or costs, meaning the Government will not have to pay out for hundreds of similar cases.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The Government has always been clear that it believes prisoner voting is an issue that should ultimately be decided in the UK.

“The Government is reflecting on the report from the Joint Committee on Prisoner Voting Rights and is actively considering its recommendations.

“This is not a straightforward issue and the Government needs to think carefully about the recommendations, which included new options for implementation.”

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12 August 2014 | 9:20 am – Source: orange.co.uk

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