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Votes for prisoners: UK Supreme Court judgment on referendum vote

2014 December 17
by Mary Munro


“Judges backing for prisoners referendum voting human rights claim” STV

Following posted on 26.9.14

“UK’s threat to quit ‘led Euro court to back down on votes for prisoners’: Strasbourg runs scared as it puts issue off until September” Scottish Daily Mail

Following posted on 12.8.14

“When X should mark the spot for prisoners” Herald
“European Court of Human Rights: prison vote ban breached rights” Herald
“The Guardian view on voting rights for prisoners” Guardian
“UK prisoners denied the vote should not be paid compensation, ECHR rules” Guardian
“Cameron warned over ‘sabre-rattling’ with European court of human rights” Guardian
“Prisoners win human rights claim, but no damages, over voting rights” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 30.7.14

“The Supreme Court upholds referendum ban on prisoner voting” UK Supreme Court Blog

Following posted on 28.7.14

“It’s inhuman that prisoners are denied a vote” Guardian
“Which is hereby pronounced for doom” Lallands Peat Worrier

Following posted on 25.7.14

“Prisoners and the right to vote” Herald
“Scottish independence: Killers fail to get referendum vote” BBC
“Independence: Murderers lose court battle for vote” Scotsman
“Prisoners lose Supreme Court bid to overturn referendum vote ban” STV
“Prisoners’ appeal to vote in Scottish independence referendum rejected” Independent
“Killers lose bid to vote in Scottish independence referendum” Telegraph
“Scottish prisoners refused right to vote in referendum by supreme court” Guardian
“Prisoners lose final appeal on referendum voting rights” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 4.7.14

“Scottish independence: Killers fail to win referendum vote” BBC
“Scottish independence: Killers lose vote battle” Scotsman
“Scottish Independence: Killers lose bid to vote” Evening News
“Murderer loses legal fight to vote in referendum” Press and Journal
“Appeal court affirms referendum prisoner voting ban” Law Society Journal Online
“#Indyref Prison Blues” Lallands Peat Worrier

Following posted on 19.12.13

“Murderers lose legal bid for right to vote in independence referendum” Daily Record
“Prisoners fail to overturn ban on voting in Scottish independence referendum” Guardian
“Scottish independence: prisoners’ vote rejected” Scotsman
“Prisoners lose challenge to referendum voting bar” Law Society Journal Online
“Murderers lose legal battle over voting in 2014 poll” Herald
“Scottish independence: Killers lose referendum vote bid” BBC
“Scottish Independence: Murderers lose bid to vote” Evening News

Following posted on 18.12.13

“Taking all these conclusions into account, we recommend that the Government introduce a Bill at the start of the 2014-15 session, which should provide that all prisoners serving sentences of 12 months or less should be entitled to vote in all UK parliamentary, local and European elections; and moreover that prisoners should be entitled to apply, up to 6 months before their scheduled release date, to be registered to vote in the constituency into which they are due to be released.” Joint Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill – First Report

“Prisoners serving less than a year should be allowed to vote, says Parliamentary committee” Independent
“MPs back giving vote to prisoners” Herald
“Short-term prisoners should have the vote, committee says” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 20.11.13

“Convicted killers bid for independence referendum vote” Law Society Journal Online
“Scotland’s referendum is not democratic if prisoners are excluded” Guardian

Following posted on 18.10.13

“Which countries let prisoners vote? Interactive map” Guardian
“Prisoners’ right-to-vote appeal rejected by supreme court” Guardian
“Eight-year standoff over prisoner voting rights approaches resolution” Guardian
“Sensible, yes: but the prisoner votes ruling changes little” Telegraph
“Blow to Cameron as judges fail to support prisoner voting ban: Supreme Court fails to rule that blanket ban is lawful after throwing out appeal by two murderers” Daily Mail
“Convicted murderers lose right to vote under EU rules” Law Society Journal Online
“‘Victory for common sense’: Supreme Court blocks Euro rule on giving prisoners the vote” Scottish Express
“‘A great victory for common sense’: David Cameron hails Supreme Court judgment as murderers lose fight for prisoners’ voting rights” Independent
“Prisoners’ campaign could be so damaging” Herald
“Convicted killer loses Supreme Court battle to win the vote” Herald
“UK inmates lose right to vote ruling” BBC

Following posted on 25.9.13

“Prisoners launch legal bid to vote in Scottish independence referendum” Guardian
“Two killers launch legal bid for right to vote in referendum” STV
“Democracy behind bars” Scottish Left Review

Following posted on 11.7.13

“Supreme court urged to reject challenge to prisoner voting ban” Guardian
“I fought the law… and the law denied me the vote” The Firm Magazine

Following posted on 28.6.13

“Referendum Franchise Bill passes but could still face challenge” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 27.6.13

“MSPs urged to give prisoners independence vote” Courier
“Give prisoners the right to vote” Herald
“Scottish independence: Referendum voting age to be lowered” BBC

Following posted on 11.6.13

“Scots murderer takes prison vote bid to top court” Scotsman
“Thousands in legal aid for man who raped and killed his niece, seven, to fight for right to vote” Daily Mail
“Brutal murderers launch bid to axe prisoner voting ban” Scottish Sun
“Killers take vote bid to top UK court” Herald
“Opinion: Prisoner voting rights” Lib. Dem. Voice

Following posted on 7.6.13

“Scottish independence: Bid to give prisoners voting rights thrown out by MSPs” BBC
“Andrew McLellan: Duty decrees prisoners have vote” Scotsman
“Scottish independence: Prisoner vote ban challenged” Scotsman
“Bill committee rejects prisoner referendum vote” Law Society Journal Online
“Cons banned from voting in independence referendum” Scottish Sun
“Prisoner referendum vote bid fails” Herald

Following posted on 3.6.13

“Monro skeptical on prisoner vote”
“Fulsome prison blues… “ Lallands Peat Worrier
“Voter Rights in Scotland: A Punishment to Fit the Crime?” Fair Observer
“Should cons get a vote in the indy referendum?” Scottish Sun

Following posted on 27.5.13

“If there’s any justice, prisoners must get the vote” Guardian

Following posted on 23.5.13

“Chasing votes”
“European official condemns voting ban”

Following posted on 17.5.13

“UK Parliament calls for evidence on prisoner voting” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 15.5.13

“Independence: Sturgeon rejects prisoner vote calls” Scotsman

Following posted on 14.5.13

“Scottish independence vote should include inmates says human rights chief” Guardian
“Scottish independence poll ‘is time to end ban on prisoners votes'” Guardian

Following posted on 13.5.13

“Sturgeon’s Scotland: no “progressive beacon”” Lallands Peat Worrier
“Independence: Last-minute bid for prisoners’ vote” Scotland on Sunday
“Debate needed on voting in jail” Scotland on Sunday
“Call for prisoner vote in independence referendum” Scotsman
“Lib Dems: Let short-term prisoners vote in independence referendum” STV
“2014 vote call for prisoners” Herald
“LibDems push for prisoners to get a vote in referendum” Herald
“Independence referendum vote should be opened up to prisoners, says Lib Dem justice spokeswoman” Daily Record

Following posted on 9.5.13

“Holyrood committee endorses referendum bill on voter eligibility” STV
“Holyrood committee splits over prisoner voting” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 29.3.13

“Prisoners’ referendum vote ban legality ‘clear’ ” Evening Times
“Nicola Sturgeon: Get nicked and lost referendum vote” Scottish Sun

Following posted on 28.3.13

“Prison voting ban: Nicola Sturgeon says no U-turn” Scotsman
“Sturgeon urged to give prisoners referendum vote” Scotsman
“Sturgeon: prisoner indyref vote ban ‘position ban’ ” Herald

Following posted on 25.3.13

“Independence vote ban on prisoners ‘will be legal’ ” Scotsman
“Referendum prisoner vote ban legally sound: Society” Law Society Journal Online
“Prisoner voting ‘ban’ in referendum compliant with human rights legislation”

Following posted 24.3.13

“Independence: Prisoners challenge voting right ban” Scotsman

Following posted on 15.03.13

“Paul Reid: Independence, the referendum, the franchise and prisoners: stormy waters ahead?” UK Constitutional Law Blog
“Prisoners’ bid for vote in independence referendum” Scottish Sun
“Call for evidence issued on Referendum Franchise Bill” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 13.03.13

“Lag’s law: no prisoner votes in the independence referendum… “ Lallands Peat Worrier

Following posted on 16.01.13

“SLAB criticised over errors dealing with prisoner vote case” Law Society Journal Online
“Lord Brodie: SLAB decision made with “ignorance and incompetence.” “ The Firm Magazine

Following posted on 11.12.12

“UK would breach human rights commitments by ignoring Strasbourg on prisoners voting” Independent

Following posted on 10.12.12

“David Cameron warned on votes for prisoners” The Independent

Following posted on 23.11.12

“Grayling remains defiant on prisoner votes” Evening Times

Following posted on 22.11.12

“Prisoner votes: government is playing for more time” Guardian
“Prisoner voting: Chris Grayling’s statement to MP’s” Guardian
“Prisoner voting: MP’s to get option to reject European ruling in draft bill” Guardian
“Chris Grayling’s prisoner voting statement: Politics live blog” Guardian
“Britain to defy prisoner voting ruling” Independent
“Government on new collision course with European judges over prisoner voting” Independent

Following posted on 19.11.12

“Prisoners’ votes bill expected by deadline” Law Society Journal Online
“MPs’ bill to defy Europe on prisoners having right to vote” The Sun
“Why not give prisoners the vote?” Telegraph
“Votes for prisoners – opening the door?” BBC

Following posted on 18.11.12

“Parliament considering giving prisoners votes as European deadline looms” Independent
“Prisoners’ vote: MP’s to decide on European ruling” BBC
“MPs prepare for showdown on votes for prisoners” Channel Four News
“MPs set to rule against prisoner voting rights” Independent

Following posted on 17.11.12

“Prisoner vote bill to be outlined” BBC
“Voting ban for prisoners ‘to stay’ as ministers get tough with European Court” Telegraph

Following posted on 30.10.12

“Prisoner votes: Strasbourg should give way to national independence” Guardian

Following posted on 29.10.12

“Prisoners to launch legal action on voting rights” Guardian
“Dave picks a Euro-fight, and society is the loser” Independent
“Attorney General Dominic Grieve escalates row on votes for prisoners” Independent
“Cameron threat to defy European court on prisoner votes ‘risks UK’s standing'” Guardian
“Prisoners will not get vote despite European ruling, says David Cameron – video” Guardian
“Don’t let prisoners vote, whatever the cost” Telegraph

Following posted on 24.10.12

“Tories bow to Europe over prisoner voting rights” Guardian
“Prisoners ‘to get votes as ministers cave in'” Daily Express
“Prisoner votes: Ministers in talks over European ruling” BBC

Following posted on 15.7.12

“UK accused of dithering over prisoners’ voting rights” Guardian

Following posted on 24.5.12

“UK to resist giving prisoners the vote despite European court ruling” Guardian
“UK to fight voting right for inmates” Scotsman
“Con votes are an insult to victims” Scottish Sun
“Cam rap for Euro court on lag votes” Scottish Sun
“Cameron to fight prison voting rights” Herald
“Sauce for the gander: Why does observance of ECtHR judgments not begin at home?” Law Society Journal Online
“Government called on to respect Brighton principle over prisoner votes” Law Society Journal Online

Following posted on 23.5.12

“Prisoners must be given right to vote, European court rules” Guardian
“Will the human rights court throw Britain a lifeline on prisoner votes?” Guardian
“Scots law affirmed as ECHR prisoner vote decision rules ban is incompatible” The Firm Magazine
“Prisoners to be given the vote” Express
“UK gets ultimatum on giving vote to prisoners” Independent
“Europe: UK has six months to give prisoners the vote” Independent
“Ruling may lead to voting in prison” Herald
“Porridge votes. Fury at Euro judges as Britain forced to give lags election rights” Scottish Sun
“Contempt for our democracy: Overruling our Parliament, unelected European judges insist prisoners MUST get the vote” Daily Mail
“Votes for villains: Prisoners must be given the right to vote, EU rules” Daily Mirror

Following posted on 2.11.11

“Government tells European judges no right to meddle with UK prisoner vote policy” Telegraph

Following posted on 13.4.11

“Prisoners’ voting rights: government loses final appeal in European court” Guardian
“ECHR sets deadline on votes for prisoners” Independent
“European court gives Cameron ultimatum on prisoner votes” Telegraph
“Britain must tell Europe NO! over prisoners’ votes” Express
“Euro judges trample UK sovereignty and insist: You WILL give prisoners the vote” Daily Mail

Following posted on 22.2.11

“Prisoner Robert Greens in European court voting bid” BBC

Press releases

“Moohan and another (Appellants) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent) [2014] UKSC67: press summary of reasons for decision” UK Supreme Court (December 2014)

“Moohan and another (Appellant) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent) (Scotland)” UK Supreme Court (July 2014)

“Votes for 16s approved” Scot.Gov. (June 2013)
“Referendum franchise debate – Scottish Parliament” Scottish Human Rights Commission (May 2013)
“Lib Dems seek measured debate on short-term prisoner voting rights in referendum” Scottish Liberal Democrats (May 2013)
“Parliamentary committee endorses Referendum Franchise Bill” Scot. Parl.(May 2013)

“Prisoner voting ruling – commentary” Scottish Human Rights Commission (May 2012)
“Implications of the judgment (Scoppola v. Italy (no. 3)” European Court of Human Rights (May 2012)
“Court’s judgment concerning blanket ban on prisoner voting in the United Kingdom becomes final. ECHR 12.4.11” European Court of Human Rights

See also

Moohan and another (Appellants) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent) [2014] UKSC67



“Joint Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill reports” UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill (December 2013)

Lord Glennie: Judicial Review on petition of Moohan, Gibson, Gillon (December 2013)

Supreme Court judgement (17.10.13) R (on the application of Chester) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent) McGeoch (AP) (Appellant) v The Lord President of the Council and another (Respondents) (Scotland) | Press summary

Memorandum by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, to the Joint Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill (17.10.13)

Howard League Scotland Final Briefing (June 2013)

Westminster Joint Select Committee: Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill

Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee

Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill page on Scottish Parliament site (brings together all relevant Parliamentary documents).

The Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill: submission to the Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee on behalf of the Howard League for Penal Reform in Scotland, the Prison Reform Trust, Sacro, Positive prison? Positive futures, Professor Fergus Mcneill and Emeritus Professor Mike Nellis (March 2013)
Howard League Scotland

In the Petition of George McGeoch for Judicial Review of decisions of the Scottish Legal Aid Board [2013] CSOH 6

Judgement: Scoppola v. Italy (no. 3) ECHR (May 2012)

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