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United Kingdom: Ministers deputies concerned by delay in prisoner vote parliamentary bill

A bill on prisoner voting rights should be put before the United Kingdom’s parliament, the Council of Europe’s ministers deputies have confirmed.

They have welcomed the “presence and the assurances presented of the United Kingdom’s support for the European Convention on Human Rights” by Dominic Raab, the Minister for Human Rights, at their meeting earlier this week.

But in their decisions published today, the ministers deputies “reiterated their serious concern about the on-going delay in the introduction of a Bill to Parliament (as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee in December 2013) leading to repetitive violations of the Convention (Firth and Others and McHugh and Others).”

They also “expressed profound regret that, despite their repeated calls, the blanket ban on the right of convicted prisoners in custody to vote remains in place and reiterated that concrete information is yet to be presented to the Committee on how the United Kingdom intends to abide by the judgment;

The ministers deputies also notifed the authorities that “notwithstanding the Delvigne case,” the United Kingdom authorities should “introduce a Bill to Parliament as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee without further delay, and to inform them as soon as this has been done.”

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers will examine the United Kingdom’s response at a meeting next December.

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