The European Court of Human Rights has said individual governments can decide how to implement a ban on convicted prisoners voting. The judgement means the UK will be able to decide for itself how to resolve the long-standing row over votes for inmates. But the court says the UK only has six months to outline its proposed reforms. In a landmark judgment the court found that an Italian prisoner’s rights had not been breached.
In a summary of its judgement, the court said it “accepted the [UK] government’s argument that each state has a wide discretion as to how it regulates the ban” both in terms of the type of offences covered and whether the matter should be defined in law or left for judges to decide. This comes seven years after the court first ordered the UK to rethink its absolute ban on convicted prisoners voting.