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ONLY A FEW HOURS LEFT…UNTIL PARLIAMENT VOTES TO DEFY ECHR?

It is already the wee hours of the morning in the United Kingdom.  The Parliament is about to meet to debate whether to defy the European Court of Human Rights and forbid the vote to convicted prisoners.  The Government wanted to allow certain prisoners with four years or less to serve to vote:

The Government is currently proposing to allow the vote to all inmates serving less than four years, in response to a European Court of Human Rights ruling which could otherwise open up the floodgates to compensation claims totalling millions of pounds.

But the Coalition apparently cannot persuade the rank and file MPs to go along.  We’ll see tomorrow.  I still suggest that the Parliament simply deprive the UK courts of any authority to award damages in prisoners’ vote cases.  What the UK needs to do is get out of the ECHR.  It can still be persuasive authority when it truly protects civil rights, not create rights non-existent in history or as our Court has put it, “essential to a scheme of ordered liberty.”  (See opinion of Justice Cardozo in Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 [1937])

 

 


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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