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Electing the Electorate: The Problem of Prisoner Disenfranchisement

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The issue of prisoner disenfranchisement is examined in the light of the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Hirst v UK. It is argued that the arguments in favour of denying prisoners the right to vote lack plausibility. Prisoner disenfranchisement cannot be coherently defended on the justifications of punishment or on the grounds of risk. On the contrary, matters of principle and policy considerations favour the re-enfranchisement of convicted prisoners.

Keywords: civic responsibility; civil death; disenfranchisement; proportionality; the right to vote

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Social Sciences and Law, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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