Why it is important we all get to grips with debates on human rights and voting issues

The issue of prisoner voting has been dominating our increasingly negative domestic debates about human rights. Coverage is set to increase as it has been reported that the Government will be putting a Bill before Parliament on 22 November 2012 which is supposed to start the process of implementing a seven-year old judgement of the European Court of Human Right.

Between the media headlines and political sound-bites there has been little room for discussion about why this is a matter of the UK living up to its international legal obligations. Nor has there been much debate about how letting the rule of law slide on one issue sets a worrying precedent for human rights protection in the UK and how this climate of negativity is masking the value our human rights laws have for people in everyday situations up and down the country.

You can find out more about these debates in BIHR’s Briefing Getting to grips with the issue of prisoner voting and human rights. This short guide provides:

  • a summary of key events
  • key messages that BIHR will be using
  • suggested actions that groups or individuals can take
  • a full briefing explaining what the ban is; why this is a human rights issue; why the UK needs to respond; how the UK has responded; whether the new Bill is enough; and whether putting forward proposals without changing the law is sufficient?

Please download your copy of the briefing here and share it with you colleagues, contacts and networks. You can spread the word on Twitter too! You can follow us on @BIHRhumanrights and @ActforUKrights

You can also read our Brief Timeline of the Prisoner Voting Cases and Human Rights here for more information on the legal cases, political reaction, media coverage and policy responses.

Published: November 20, 2012

Posted In: