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Is Denying Prisoners The Right To Vote A Violation Of Human Rights? Essay

1828 words - 8 pages

I chose this question because it has been a controversial issue in the media for the past couple of years, as the European Court of Justice ruled that denying prisoners the right to vote violates the rights of EU citizens to take part in European elections and as Britain is part of the European Union they usually would listen to their decision but the Prime Minister at the time David Cameron chose to ignore the ruling, as their decision is not legally binding. Another reason why I chose the United Kingdom is because there is a possibility that the current Conservative government under Theresa May in Britain could abolish the Human Rights Act, and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, but there has not been any indication as to whether this would allow prisoners to vote, however, it doesn?t seem likely to change any time in the near future. I am aiming to investigate how getting rid of this would affect prisoners in terms of voting when they are released from jail. Which is why I have chosen to look into Denmark who have no voting restrictions and allow felons to vote whilst in prison, they are also well known for their unusually relaxed approach to the treatment of criminals in jail. I am going to explore the effect of having the right to vote has on the convict. The third country I will be exploring is France, who permanently disenfranchise some criminals for life, depending on the nature of the crime they have committed. But the majority of the inmates still have their electoral rights when serving their custodial sentence. There are five categories that the sentence warrants disenfranchisement as part of the punishment. It could be said that in some ways this is the middle ground between the United Kingdom?s blanket ban and Denmark?s freedom to vote. Nevertheless, it could be argued that it is worse, as in the United Kingdom felons get their voting rights back when they have been released from jail.
As I began my research I came across key terms. Felony disenfranchisement is; the exclusion from voting of people otherwise eligible to vote due to a conviction of a criminal offence. Conditional disenfranchisement is permanently prohibiting felons from voting only if they have been convicted of a certain type of crime or been convicted a certain amount of time. They have been convicted a specified amount of times. A human right is a right which every citizen of the world is entitled to and they are universally protected by law.
Some people would argue that by committing the crime the felon has, they have effectively violated someone else?s human rights, who could have been innocent. Therefore, they do not deserve the right to vote in elections, as according to these people they should suffer like the person/ people whose human rights they infringed.
I sourced my first article online, from the Daily Mirror. I am aware that it is a tabloid newspaper that has a left wing political bias. Also, the article is from last year so there is a chance...

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