I’m not sure how long the votes for prisoners farce via the European Court of Human Rights has been going on, I’m pretty sure it was the previous administration though, possibly back to the time of Blair. Still, it has finally ground to a conclusion, it seems we can make our own minds up, or rather the government or our courts can.
The European Court of Human Rights has said individual governments can decide how to implement a ban on convicted prisoners voting.
The judgement means the UK will be able to decide for itself how to resolve the long-standing row over votes for inmates.
But the court says the UK only has six months to outline its proposed reforms.
In a landmark judgment the court found that an Italian prisoner’s rights had not been breached.
In a summary of its judgement, the court said it “accepted the [UK] government’s argument that each state has a wide discretion as to how it regulates the ban, both as regards the types of offence that should result in the loss of the vote and as to whether disenfranchisement should be ordered by a judge in an individual case or should result from general application of a law.”
This comes seven years after the court first ordered the UK to rethink its absolute ban on convicted prisoners voting.
Well, there’s my answer, seven years, seven years of mucking about by a court who most people in the UK hold in disdain for its continual meddling in our laws and rights.
Thing is, most people realise that going to prison has to mean the loss of certain rights taken as a given for law abiding citizens. Loss of freedom, loss of conjugal rights, loss of enfranchisement. Pretty basic and until seven years ago taken as a given for anyone being incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Granted there were special circumstances for those in on remand, but postal votes took care of that.
Now in an almost complete turn of the wheel the ECHR has said that any decision on prisoners votes is up to the national governments themselves.
So we’re back to square one, though God alone knows how Cameron and the Tories will handle it, probably via opinion poll as to which option will gain them the most/cost them the least votes.
Still, the simple way is for the government to decide that the answer is ‘no’ you can’t have a vote, now or ever.
That works for me…