Thursday, October 06, 2005

Jailhouse vote (2)

In April, I highlighted the case of John Hirst, a prisoner serving a "discretionary life sentence" for manslaughter who felt his human rights had been breached by being denied the vote. Unfortunately, the European Court of Human Rights has agreed with him and Liberal Democrats, his rights have been infringed and he should be allowed the vote!

Watch out out for prisoner driving courses, young offender activity weekends and luxurious prisons in future manifesto commitments. Are any prisons in marginal constituencies?


chris said...

I've just learned from Helen at the EUreferendum blog that these rulings are not binding, so if we had a government that gave a **** about this country they could just say 'no'. Or an opposition that did some opposing bring this to light and could force them to say 'no'. But we don't so it ain't going to happen

The Fringe said...

I'm think with you on this one. Where's tough on crime when we really, really need it?

Why state that an individual is unfit to walk among the law-abiding public and yet let him/her have a say (however illusory) in the way that country's run? I can see the argument for treating those convicted of certain crimes as having 'opted out' of this privilege.

Snafu said...

Lord Falconer told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "I can make it absolutely clear that in relation to convicted prisoners, the result of this is not that every convicted prisoner is in the future going to get the right to vote."

Only Labour voters will!

Aiden Truss said...

What about those sentenced to hard Labour?

It's total stupidity. If you break the law, you willfully step outside the conventions of society - claiming that your human rights have been infringed is just laughable.

I suppose that this was all paid for with legal aid as well?

Admin said...

The ECHR and common sense should never be allowed near each other. Like other opposites they anihilate each other on contact.

Snafu said...

The system should have prevented the claim in the first place.

I cannot blame John for pursuing his claim though. I imagine he is a minor celebrity within the prison pursuing an 'outdoor interest'. How else can he fill his time!?!

Dangerouslysubversivedad said...

Was this the ECHR or the ECJ? ECJ rulings are non-binding as I understand it, but ECHR rulings are absolutely binding on us, courtesy of Major and his traitorous pals.

chris said...

From Helen at EUReferendum it is the other way around. The ECJ being the EU court whereas the ECHR being related to the Council of Europe. But it's so hard to keep up with all the tranzis out there I could be wrong! It would be much simpler if our laws where actually made by the people that we elect to parliment, rather than an alphabet soup of unelected and unaccountable transnational organisations.