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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Breaking news: Stay tuned to this channel

Breaking news: Stay tuned to this channel


Speech I intend to give tomorrow...

Venice Commission


My name is John Hirst, author of Jailhouselawyer’s Blog. I took Hirst v UK(No2) (The Prisoners Votes Case) to the ECtHR.

I have a condition known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Therefore, I would be grateful if you would just bear with me.

Language barrier

Words should say what they mean, and mean what they say. For example,

European Convention on Human Rights: The Theory

The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, better known as the European Convention on Human Rights, was signed in 1950 and came into force in 1953.

It was the first instrument to give effect and binding force to certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was also the first treaty to establish a supranational judicial organ to ensure that the State Parties fulfilled their undertakings.

The Practice will follow...

“It is no accident that the most crucial question raised by lawyers at a 1971 Prisoners’ Rights Conference ‘How does one get a court decision implemented?’ remained unanswered” (Fitzgerald).

Today, I can reveal the answer, with great difficulty!

Winning the legal battle in court is meaningless if a Member State fails to comply, as with Hirst No2. The enforcement machinery is as soft as a brush, and the UK merely sweeps it under the carpet. It is the elephant in the room, or to be more precise, the elephant standing in the House of Commons with the words “Prisoners Votes” on both sides. The down side of an elephant is the size of the mess it makes. The UK is in it up to its neck. That is, the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary.

On 2nd June the Committee of Ministers gave the UK until September to give effect to the judgment in my case, and published its decision on their website. The government has, so far, not officially responded. Media enquiries have been met with they will be told something when the government knows what it is doing. This does not inspire confidence in me when those in charge do not know what they are doing! They have said that they are looking at it afresh – looking for the best way forward.

The problem is that the government is the obstacle in the path of the best way forward.

All it needs is for Parliament to repeal s.3 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.


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