Site Meter

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Political football game: Italy 1 England 0

Political football game:Italy 1 England 0

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has decided to accept a referral in Scoppola v Italy.

Scoppola No 3 v. Italy (no. 126/05)

The applicant, Franco Scoppola, is an Italian national who was born in 1940 and lives in Parma (Italy). He was sentenced in 2002 by the Assize Court to life imprisonment for murder, attempted murder, ill-treatment of members of his family and unauthorised possession of a firearm. Under Italian law, his life sentence entailed a lifetime ban from public office, amounting to permanent forfeiture of his right to vote.

In its judgment of 18 January 2011, the Court held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case was referred to the Grand Chamber at the Italian Government’s request.

On 6 July in the House of Lords...

Lord Anderson of Swansea: Does the Minister agree that while there may be a case for asking for an extension of time while awaiting the Grand Chamber judgment in the Scoppola case, which also involves prisoners’ rights, and a case for negotiating with the court on the broad margin of appreciation allowed in the Hirst case, there is no case whatever for defying the court, as a number of Members of the other place seem rather keen to do, particularly at a time when the UK will assume the chairmanship of the Council of Ministers in November? What sort of precedent would that give to defaulting members such as Turkey and Russia?

The Scoppola v Italy judgment is only available in French, however, this Press Release is in English.

I cannot for the life of me work out why the GC rejected referral in Greens and MT v UK, and Frodl v Austria but accepted a referral in Scoppola.

No comments: