chapter  7
18 Pages

Voters should not be in prison! The rights of prisoners in a democracy

ByPeter Ramsay

The citizenship status of offenders held in Britain’s prisons has been a live political issue since the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in Hirst v UK. The court ruled that the UK’s blanket ban on convicted prisoners voting violated their rights under the ECHR. Penal reformers and human rights advocates have welcomed the decision. In parliament, by contrast, there has been overwhelming opposition to complying with the judgment. At the time of writing, the UK government has consulted but still not put forward a specific legislative reform.1