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Proposals put forward for prisoners' right to vote

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has outlined proposals for what should be done about prisoners' right to vote.

Under a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, Britain must remove its blanket ban on prisoners voting by tomorrow (November 23rd).

A special committee is being set up to consider the idea.

The three proposals put forward by the Justice Secretary are as follows:

  • Prisoners who have been sentenced for less than four years could have the right to vote

  • The right to vote could be limited to those serving prison sentences for six months or less

  • MPs could restate the current position - that is that no one serving time in prison has the right to vote

"Every single human right seems to revolve around the offender"

The right to vote might be seen to be a human right by the European Court of Human Rights, but giving the right to vote to prisoners is proving to be a controversial issue.

Those who have been victims of crime, like Theresa Cave whose son Chris was stabbed to death, do not believe that prisoners have the right to make their voice heard.


Prisoners could be granted right to vote

Under current legislation, people serving time in prison do not have the right to vote - but this is in question after the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Britain must remove its blanket ban on prisoners voting by Friday 23rd November.

The Prime Minister has said that he does not agree with the principle of prisoners having the right to vote, but MPs are being told to look again at giving prisoners the vote.

Under European law, the right to vote is seen as a human right, so Britain's ban on votes for inmates is illegal.

But, some of those who have been victims of crime say that by granting those in prison the chance to vote it marks the start of another battle to make their voices heard.

To read more on this story, you can have a look at our national coverage.