In the UK’s margin of appreciation as

In 2005 the court in Hirst v the United Kingdom (no. 2) ruled that the prohibition against votes for prisoners found in Section 3 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1983 was incompatible with Article 3 of Protocol No.1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – the right to free elections. Despite this ruling, Parliament remained intransigent. As part of the ruling in Greens and MT v the United Kingdom, Parliament was given six months from 11 April 2011 to implement the decision in Hirst No. 2. However, five weeks before the deadline, the UK joined Italy in an appeal against the Court’s identical decision against a blanket ban in Italy, handed down in Scoppola v Italy, thus further delaying the requirement for implementation. The success of the appeal meant that some degree of voting prohibition was within the UK’s margin of appreciation as long as a blanket ban was avoided. A Parliamentary Joint Committee on Voting Eligibility passed a Bill in December 2013 recommending that all prisoners serving 12 months or less should be entitled to vote. This essay contends that the Bill does not go far enough and that all prisoners, who would otherwise be eligible, should benefit from the right of suffrage.