The career criminal, Arthur Taylor, has taken his legal battle challenging a ban on prisoner voting to this country’s highest court. The High Court and Court of Appeal have already ruled against them, but in December the Supreme Court agreed to give them one last hearing. In 2010, Parliament passed a law preventing all sentenced prisoners from voting, regardless of the length of their sentence. However, earlier electoral legislation allowed prisoners serving a jail term of less than three years to vote.
A lawyer for Taylor told the Supreme Court today the ban on prisoner voting was an “entrenched” part of the electoral law which required a 75 percent majority to pass, but when Parliament made the change, it did not have that many people in favour.
Francis Cooke QC said the law said every adult was qualified to be registered as an elector, which was consistent with the Bill of Rights.
He said the real question that arises in the case was whether Parliament had protected some but not all of the requirements to be a registered elector.