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Monday, December 06, 2010

Hirst v UK (No2) latest decision from Committee of Ministers

Hirst v UK (No2) latest decision from Committee of Ministers

1100th DH meeting – 2 December 2010

Section 4.3

- 1 case against the United Kingdom

74025/01 Hirst No. 2, judgment of 06/10/2005 - Grand Chamber

Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)160


The Deputies:

1. recalled that, in the present judgment, delivered on 6 October 2005, the Court found that the general, automatic and indiscriminate restriction on the right of convicted prisoners in custody to vote, fell outside any acceptable margin of appreciation and was incompatible with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention;

2. recalled that at its meeting in December 2009, the Committee of Ministers adopted Interim Resolution CM/ResDH(2009)160, in which it urged rapid adoption of the general measures by the Respondent State;

3. noted that despite this, the United Kingdom general election was held on 6 May 2010 with the blanket ban on the right of convicted prisoners in custody to vote still in place;

4. recalled that in such circumstances the risk of repetitive applications identified by the Committee has materialised, as stated by the European Court in the pilot judgment, Greens and M.T. against the United Kingdom (60041/08 and 60054/08, judgment of 24/11/2010 not yet final), with over 2 500 clone applications received by the European Court;

5. noted that the United Kingdom authorities have confirmed that they will present draft legislation to implement the judgment in the near future as announced on 3 November by the Prime Minister to the United Kingdom Parliament;

6. expressed hope that the elections scheduled for 2011 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be performed in a way that complies with the Convention;

7. called upon the United Kingdom authorities to present an Action plan for implementation of the judgment which includes a clear timetable for the adoption of the measures envisaged, without further delay;

8. decided to resume consideration of this item at their 1108th meeting (March 2011) (DH), in the light of further information to be provided by the authorities on general measures.

1 Including, on this occasion, decisions as well as judgments becoming final if appropriate until 31 December 2010, as set out in document CM/Inf/DH(2010)49.

2 See paragraph 9 of document CM/Inf/DH(2010)37.

3 The addition of this last sentence is based on a proposal by the United Kingdom which received wide support at the 1092nd meeting of the Committee of Ministers.

4 “7. Simplified supervision would entail only formal involvement of the Committee of Ministers at the end of the execution phase in order to endorse the measures adopted by the state […]“.

5 « 7. As requested by the Deputies, the practical modalities of such a twin-track supervisory system are set out below. The proposed arrangements are based on the principle that all cases are technically considered to be on the agenda of every « Human Rights » meeting until their closure. The arrangements also reflect the need for prioritised and ranked supervision by the Committee of Ministers. ».

« 12. In order for the standard procedure to operate effectively, member states are expected to present an action plan or an action report as soon as possible and in any event not later than six months after a judgment becomes final. The Committee’s involvement in the standard procedure will be limited to verifying whether or not action plans or action reports have been presented by member states. »

This question was also submitted by the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers to the Jurisconsult of the Directorate of Legal Advice and International Public Law, who replied in a memorandum dated 7 October 2010 that "Thus, the large margin of discretion given to the CM […] leads, necessarily, to the conclusion that the proposal on how to deal with standard supervision cases would not be incompatible with the current CM Execution Rules."

6 See paragraph 2 of the decision adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 15 September 2010 :

« The Deputies […] 2. recalling the responsibility which lies on states parties to the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the effective execution of these judgments. »

7 It should be noted that when formulating this proposal, the Chairman emphasised that this option, like all other provisions of the reform would be adopted subject to review at the latest in December 2011.

8 §120 Al Saadoon and Mufdhi v United Kingdom

9 §120 Al Saadoon and Mufdhi v United Kingdom

10 This application was lodged against Italy and Albania but the European Court found no violation in respect of Italy.

Committee of Ministers publishes decisions on execution of European Court of Human Rights judgments

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