Friday, 11 February 2011

ECHR and Prisoners' Votes

Well done David Davis, Priti Patel and Jack Straw for leading the reassertion of the supremacy of Parliament over the judiciary. Let's hope the government fights back against the unaccountable judges of the ECHR and repatriates the deciding role in human rights law to the UK Supreme Court.

The 2005 judgement EHCR 681 is flawed because it denies judges the power to remove enfranchisement from convicted prisoners yet permits doctors to deny the right to vote to people who are subject to any "legal incapacity" which impairs their judgement. That is people with learning difficulties or mental illness that prevents them, in the opinion of doctors, from comprehending the voting procedure and understanding for what and whom they are voting. Well, that's me off the electoral register after last year's election fiasco(did I really vote for the Coalition and LibDem policies? And the AV Referendum will remove anyone else if they are honest about their level of ignorance. In addition, if election staff believe you are drunk or under the influence of drugs they can ask you a series of questions to assess your capability to vote. They may require you to return later when sufficiently sober.
Members of the Jury, I put it to you that convicted criminals are possessed of an impaired judgement, or possing a mental disorder, to use the Mental Health Act 2007's portmanteau term, otherwise they wouldn't hack their landlady's head off or fiddle Parliamentary allowances. Having, to use the Mental Health Act 1983's definition, "a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes significant/severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning and is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the person concerned" pretty much sums up such criminal behaviour. But most people in prison are mentally ill, bleat the leftie Mrs Jellybys. Gotcha! Case proven.

Update: It wouldn't surprise me if the next legal cause celebre for prisoners is the suspension or deferment of benefits while they are inside prison. Amazingly, liberal Canada only stopped pension payments last June!

Update 2: Wouldn't it be funny if prisoners were charged board and lodging for their time inside (it's already docked from compensation payments to wrongfully convicted prisoners) that equalled any compensation due them for loss of voting rights?

Update 3: who, apart from the odious Simon Hughes voted for prisoners' votes? The other 21 should be named so they can be voted out by their constituents.
Here's the record of the ayes and noes.

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