Court rejects UK prisoners’ complaints

Human rights judges have today rejected two United Kingdom prisoners’ complaints concerning a blanket ban on their right to vote.

In its decision in the case of McLean and Cole v. the United Kingdom (application nos. 12626/13 and 2522/12), the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the applications inadmissible.

The decision is final.

The case concerned two applications lodged by Joseph McLean and Kevin Cole, both prisoners, on 31 January 2013 and 28 October 2011 respectively. They complained that they had been subject to a blanket ban on voting in elections and had been, or would be, prevented from voting in one or more of the following: elections to the European Parliament on 4 June 2009; the parliamentary election on 6 May 2010; elections to the Scottish Parliament on 5 May 2011; a nationwide referendum on the alternative vote on 5 May 2011; local government elections on various dates; and, future elections.

They relied on Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court found the applicants’ complaints inadmissible because they were filed too late or prematurely or because they were about elections not covered by the European Convention.

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