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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Prisoners strike back at the Coalition

Prisoners strike back at the Coalition.

The UK has to face the Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg on 8 March and explain why it has failed to fully comply with the Prisoners Votes Case.

Elkan Abrahamson, the solicitor representing John Hirst, has made submissions to the Committee of Ministers, tasked with supervising execution of the European Court of Human Rights judgments, to refer Hirst v UK (No2) back to the Court, under Rule 11 ‘infringement proceedings’ for a ruling that the UK has failed to comply with the 2005 Grand Chamber judgment.

Mr Abrahamson states that:

“Government proposals to date are not convention compliant. No Bill has been introduced. Indeed the Government has indicated that they are asking the Grand Chamber (in Greens and M.T. v UK) to reconsider the Hirst case. All Government announcements suggest that they have no intention of fully complying with the Hirst Judgment”.

“The High Court has now ruled against prisoners in England who have applied for an effective remedy: Tovey and Hydes and Others v Ministry of Justice and has indeed made orders for costs against those prisoners. Orders which the Government is seeking to enforce against serving prisoners. Prisoners are therefore now being punished for seeking to enforce their rights under the Convention”.

“The Government is guilty of systemic violation of the European Convention and we ask that the Court be invited to consider what steps should now be taken.”

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