. The ECJ has ruled that prisoners should not be denied the right to vote in political elections. Discuss.
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Q6. The ECJ has ruled that prisoners should not be denied the right to vote in political elections. Discuss.
In March 2004, John Hirst, a convicted killer, successfully took his case against the United Kingdom to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR in Strasbourg. (Hirst v The United Kingdom 2004). He claimed there was an infringement upon his human rights which was inconsistent with protocol 1 article 3 of the ECHR. The court ruled unanimously that his human rights had been violated. On April 11th 2011 the court ordered the UK to change the legislation on allowing prisoners to vote, with a time scale of six months to implement legislative proposals.
Protocol 1, article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights maintains the right to…show more content… For someone to have been given a custodial sentence, a very serious crime has to have been committed. That person has broken the law; they’ve contravened society’s norms and value’s, why should they be given the same rights and privileges as someone who abides by those rules. There’s a lot of emphasis on a prisoners human rights and what they should be entitled to but what about their victims? When a person commits a crime they have infringed upon, took away, someone else’s human rights. Mark Wallace of the Taxpayers Alliance comments “it would be disgusting to let tens of thousands of criminals to have an equal vote as the law abiding majority. These convicts never gave a second thought to the rights of others when they committed their crimes so their right to vote should be forfeited” (Mail Online February 2010). John Hirst, as well as being a convicted killer, also has a history of violence, arson and burglary. What about his landlady’s right to life? A life he took away with seemingly no remorse. Another prisoner, Peter Chester, convicted for the rape and murder of his seven year old niece, used taxpayers money to appeal to the high court for his right to vote, but where’s the consideration for his victim and victim’s family. Prisoners who have committed the most heinous crimes could have a say in how the country is governed and how the law is made. What message does that send to the