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Friday, January 27, 2012

One last fling

One last fling

Dear Caroline Lucas

This issue is too important to sidestep with I am not a constituent of yours in Brighton. Not that I am saying you will sidestep the issue, only that I am aware Parliament tries to prevent a MP raising an issue outside of their area.

I am aware that you did not support the unlawful motion and sham debate on prisoners votes on 10 February 2011.

The UK has played for more time by becoming an interested party in Scoppola v Italy (No3) before the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR. On 20 December 2011 Kenneth Clarke appeared before the JCHR and stated that the UK was waiting for the Scoppola judgment and report of the UK Bill of Rights Commission to decide what it will do on the issue of prisoners votes, and how to abide by the Convention and comply with the Court judgments.

Hirst v UK (No2) is the leading case on prisoners votes. It was relied upon in Frodl v Austria, which referred to the Hirst test. Then came Greens and MT v UK which also relied upon Hirst No2. Finally, Scoppola relied upon Hirst No2. Why is the UK waiting for the decision in an Italian case when it should be fully complying with Hirst No2 which was against the UK?

Hirst No2 was decided in October 2005. Member States are obliged to produce a plan to implement the decisions within 6 months. The UK has not honoured its obligations under international law. The objectives of the Council of Europe; Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of law have been ignored by the UK by ignoring the Hirst No2 judgment. It’s a national disgrace.

Under English law we have the principle that justice delayed is justice denied. Over 6 years delay is not acceptable in a country laying claim to being a liberal democracy.

Yesterday my doctor phoned me to say that a shadow has been discovered on my lungs during my chest X-ray. I have to see a consultant next week about tests for its malignancy. The dry cough and chest pain tell me that it is at the advanced stage rather than something which has just reared its ugly head. Time is of the essence and time is short. I don’t have the time for anymore delaying tactics by the UK. My dying wish is to see all convicted prisoners get the vote before I go.

Will you please help me achieve this?

Yours sincerely

John Hirst

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