The European Court and Prisoners rights.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/may/22/prisoners-right-to-vote-echr?newsfeed=true

The European Court of Human Rights has reaffirmed its decision that the UK must comply with ruling that prisoners cannot be arbitarally disenfranchised.

Of course, it means the comments section of the Daily Mail (and, surprisingly, The Guardian) are full of ravings about giving Axe Murderers the vote, and how the UK should leave the EU.

The former assertion isn’t the case. The ruling allows that the government may explicitly exclude certain groups of offenders (such as axe murderers) from the right to vote. They simply cannot have a blanket ban.

“General, automatic and indiscriminate disenfranchisement of all serving prisoners, irrespective of the nature or gravity of their offences, is incompatible with Article 3 of Protocol No 1 [the right to free elections] of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

This makes sense to me, as I don’t see why people serving shorter sentences for less serious crimes should be prevented from voting – surely allowing them to vote is part of their connection to society and rehabilitation?

As for the idea that the EU is to blame for this; I suggest, instead, we disenfranchise everyone who does not know (and doesn’t want to learn) the difference between the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. Apart from them both having “Europe” in the title, they have nothing to do with each other.

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