Prisoners must be given right to vote, European court rules [View all]
Source: The Guardian
Prisoners in the UK must be given the right to vote, the European court of human rights (ECHR) has ruled, though ministers may determine which inmates should be enfranchised.
The appeals section of the Strasbourg court reaffirmed its decision that blanket disenfranchisement of all those serving time is illegal and imposed a fresh timetable for Britain's delayed compliance with similar past rulings.
The keenly anticipated ruling on Scoppola vs Italy brings some political relief in confirming there is significant leeway allowed in how the rights are granted, meaning that individual countries may choose to exclude certain groups of serious offenders, such as murderers and rapists.
The UK government has been repeatedly ordered to grant prisoners greater democratic rights. The House of Commons last year voted overwhelmingly to defy the ECHR and retain the ban on any UK prisoners being allowed to vote at elections.