House of Commons Library briefing: Prisoners’ voting rights – developments since May 2015

The House of Commons Library have produced a September 2019 briefing analysing the debate over the voting rights of prisoners since May 2015. The paper also includes a concise summary of the main developments before May 2015.

The briefing finds:

  • In 2005 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that the UK was in breach of Article 3 of Protocol No 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to prisoner voting rights
  • Currently under UK law prisoners serving a custodial sentence after conviction cannot vote in any elections.
  • In 2001 the ban was challenged by three convicted prisoners. The domestic courts rejected the challenge and one of the prisoners, John Hirst, then took his case to the ECtHR.

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