A ruling by European Court of Human Rights judges has given the United Kingdom government a new six month prisoner votes deadline.
The five-judge panel of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, meeting on 11 April 2011, has rejected the referral requests relating to the case of Greens and M.T. v. the United Kingdom (application nos. 60041/08 & 60054/08) submitted by Mr Greens and by the government.
The Court’s Chamber judgment of 23 Novemer 2010 has thereby become final (Article 44 of the European Convention on Human Rights).
The case concerned the blanket ban on voting in national and European elections for convicted prisoners in detention in the United Kingdom.
In its Chamber judgment in the case of 23 November 2011, the Court held that there had been a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) to the European Convention on Human Rights and no violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention due to the fact that the legislation which led to the finding of a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 by the Court’s Grand Chamber in the case of Hirst v. the United Kingdom No. 2 (no. 74025/01), delivered on 6 October 2005, remained unchanged.
The Court now gives the United Kingdom Government six months from 11 April 2011 – the date when Greens and M.T. has become final – to introduce legislative proposals to bring the disputed law/s in line with the Convention.
The Government is further required to enact the relevant legislation within any time frame decided by the Committee of Ministers, the executive arm of the Council of Europe, which supervises the execution of the Court’s judgments (1).