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Monday, March 19, 2012

Sir Nicolas Bratza in the dock?

Sir Nicolas Bratza in the dock?

Q143 Mr Sharma: Can you explain in which article of the Convention or Protocol there is expressly set out a right of prisoner voting? Are you aware of the travaux, which demonstrate clearly that states agreed to retain narrow exemptions to the franchise?

Sir Nicolas Bratza: I think I must confine myself to saying that, although it has been suggested that the Hirst case was the first case in which the right of a person or an individual to vote was established, that is not in fact so. This is a right that has been interpreted since the 1980s certainly and perhaps even further back than that in a case called Mathieu-Mohin v Belgium. It is not something that one has invented for the first time in the Hirst case. As you will appreciate, I do not want to go into the details of the Hirst case because, as you are probably aware, the judgment of the Grand Chamber there is currently under challenge in a case against Italy in which the UK intervened on behalf of the respondent state in raising a similar issue to that raised in the Hirst case, and in which the UK Government are arguing that the Hirst case was wrongly decided. That case is still pending before us and I am involved in it, so I would rather not go further in talking about the Hirst case.

When I heard Sir Nicolas Bratza give his oral evidence I got the impression from what he said that the UK is appealing against my case within the Scoppola case before the Grand Chamber. If this is the case then I have cause for alarm because under the ECHR it states that the decision in my case is final, and that means there is no provision for another appeal.

So why is Sir Nicolas Bratza allowing this abuse of process and breach of the ECHR by the UK and the Court?

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