Prisoners’ Voting Rights: The Constitutional and Policy Case for Compliance with the Judgment of the Strasbourg Court-Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC (UCL)

by | Aug 15, 2016

The European Court of Human Rights, in the case of Hirst, has held that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoners’ voting offends Convention rights.  The previous Prime Minister said that prisoners voting makes him ‘physically sick’ and the House of Commons has passed a resolution in effect encouraging defiance of Strasbourg’s ruling.

Apart from the question of the UK’s obligation in international law to implement the judgments of the Strasbourg Court, and the practical implications of non-compliance, does the ban on prisoners’ voting violate purely domestic constitutional principles?

Three such principles will be discussed:

  • The presumption of liberty;
  • The principle of equality, and
  • Parliamentary sovereignty.

Irrespective of those principles, could the ban be justified as necessary and proportionate in a democratic society? Does it fulfil the accepted aims of penal policy or, on the contrary, does it not speak to those aims or indeed subvert them (in particular, the aim of rehabilitation)?

img_20161115_130558 img_20161115_130408 img_20161115_131233-1

A recording of the event can be found here.

Share this:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Related Content

OxHRH Webinar-The Right to Security: Securing Rights or Securitzing Rights? -Dr Liora Lazarus (Oxford University)

OxHRH Webinar-The Right to Security: Securing Rights or Securitzing Rights? -Dr Liora Lazarus (Oxford University)

The OxHRH with the support of the Bertha Foundation, is pleased to continue it’s innovative webinar series with an ...
Global Rights Compliance Event: Launch of Legal Advisory Report and Policy Guidance

Global Rights Compliance Event: Launch of Legal Advisory Report and Policy Guidance

Global Rights Compliance is conducting an online launch of a ground breaking Legal Advisory Report and Policy ...
Global Media & Policy Seminar Series: Chris Conder (Broadband for the Rural North)

Global Media & Policy Seminar Series: Chris Conder (Broadband for the Rural North)

Chris Conder co-founded Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), a rural, community-owned, co-operative that delivers ...