TITLE

A Perfect Storm: Parliament and Prisoner Disenfranchisement

AUTHOR(S)
Murray, C.R.G.
PUB. DATE
July 2013
SOURCE
Parliamentary Affairs;Jul2013, Vol. 66 Issue 3, p511
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In Hirst v UK (No. 2) the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Representation of the People Act 1983 breached the right of prisoners to vote under Article 3 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Since then, much of the delay in reform has been premised on the understanding that the disenfranchisement of prisoners has been a consistent feature of the UK's history as a parliamentary democracy. Both parliamentary debates and consultation documents on prisoner disenfranchisement, however, have overlooked the complex history of prisoner participation in the political process in the UK. Most importantly, large sections of the prison population were enfranchised in the decades after the Second World War. This article explores the reasons why the ability of many prisoners to take part in elections in the post-war era has been ignored during the recent debates on prisoner voting rights. This neglect has enabled a range of discourses, including penal populism, Euro-scepticism, concern over the juridification of the UK's system of government and the trivialisation of human rights, to vie for dominance of parliamentary discussion of prisoner enfranchisement. In combination, by hampering the reform of prisoner voting rights required by the Hirst decision (and recently affirmed in Greens and MT v UK), these discourses threaten to expose the UK to further censure by the Council of Europe and to exacerbate the divisions within the Coalition Government regarding human rights.
ACCESSION #
88429871

 

Related Articles

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics