06/10/2005 - 06/10/2005
HIRST v. the United Kingdom (no. 2)
60041/08 - GREENS v. the United Kingdom (leading)
Case description: Blanket ban on voting imposed automatically on the applicants due to their status as a convicted offenders detained in prison (violations of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1). Pilot judgment of 23/11/2010, Greens and M.T. (60041/08 and 60054/08, final on 11/04/2011).
Status of execution: Individual measures: In the event that the applicants are detained, their eligibility to vote will depend on the general measures adopted (see §§ 72, 93 and 94 of the judgment in Hirst).
General measures: Since the judgment in Hirst became final in 2005 some initiatives were taken with a view to implementing the judgment, including two public consultations on possible changes to the law. However, no concrete steps were taken, and the Committee of Ministers expressed serious concern about the substantial delay in implementing the judgment in the interim resolution adopted on 3 December 2009. The general election held in the United Kingdom in May 2010, triggered a significant number of repetitive complaints to the European Court (around 2,500).
At its 1150th meeting (September 2012), the Committee underlined that according to §115 of the pilot judgment Greens and M.T., the authorities had six months from the date that judgment became final to introduce legislative proposals to amend the electoral law imposing a blanket restriction on voting rights of convicted prisoners in prison, and achieve compliance with the Court's judgment in Hirst No. 2. It noted further that the European Court granted an extension to this deadline and that consequently, the United Kingdom authorities have until 23 November 2012 to comply with the pilot judgment.
§115 of the pilot judgment also states that the legislative proposals should be introduced “with a view to the enactment of an electoral law to achieve compliance with the Court's judgment in Hirst No. 2 according to any time-scale determined by the Committee of Ministers”.
An action plan was submitted on 23 November 2012 (see DH-DD(2012)1106).
The action plan states that on 22 November 2012, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice introduced to Parliament legislative proposals to amend the electoral law imposing a blanket restriction on voting rights of convicted prisoners in prison in the form of a draft bill (the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Draft Bill). A copy of the announcement is included with the Action plan. The draft bill is publicly available online (see Action plan for link).
The draft bill contains three proposals:
Option 2: a ban on voting for prisoners sentenced to more than 6 months,
Option 3: a ban for all prisoners (i.e.re-enacting the existing blanket ban).
Posted by Maniek for John