Should prisoners be given the right to vote?
The UK has been accused of breaching the European Convention of Human Rights Article 3 of protocol 1 by having a blanket ban on prisoners voting. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) promotes the idea that convicted prisoners should be allowed to vote and have a right to vote, despite the Conservative party being opposed to this view. As a result the ECHR have being pressuring the Tory’s to bow to their rules for many years. This essay will examine the history behind the debate of prisoners voting and, give reasons in favour of the ban and opposing to the ban, whilst strongly promoting the view that prisoners should not have the right to vote.
In 1870, under the Forfeiture Act, prisoners
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It is absurd to think that there may be some people that are happy with paedophiles, rapists and murderers having a say in how society should be governed. In relation to the argument that convicted criminals should be able to vote because it aids rehabilitation back into society. The reality is there are processes in place to help prisoners rehabilitate and they are treated with dignity. Finally, in terms of the European Court and its decision to attempt to lengthen its ‘power’ past beyond their rights; The British have every right to choose which one of the ECHR rules they wish to enforce. Davis proclaimed that the UK sanctioned the ECHR guidelines which are, “to protect people from ill-treatment and to protect their life, liberty, free speech, and right to a fair trial”. These guidelines are important issues which are taken seriously in the UK and, in comparison, the ‘issue’ on prisoners voting is really quite trivial. The UK signed up for the more serious legislations of the ECHR but categorically did not join the ECHR in order to issue felons with the right to vote (Davis, 2011).
BBC News., 2010. Labour's 'votes for paedophiles. BBC News [online] (Last updated 17.27 PM on 19 April 2010) Available at: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8630001.stml> [Accessed on 02 February 2014].
BBC News., 2011. Woman jailed for three months for £10 jeans theft. BBC News