Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Prisoners challenge bar on voting

Two prisoners are seeking the right to vote in Scotland's independence referendum
Two prisoners are seeking the right to vote in Scotland's independence referendum

Two prisoners serving life sentences who say rules which bar them from voting in the Scottish independence referendum breach their human rights are today due to launch a human rights fight in the UK's highest court.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to analyse claims brought by Leslie Moohan and Andrew Gillon at a hearing in London.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said a panel of justices would examine provisions prohibiting prisoner voting contained in the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013.

''This appeal concerns provisions prohibiting prisoners voting in the forthcoming Scottish Independence Referendum. The case is brought by two prisoners, both British nationals serving life sentences,'' said the spokeswoman.

''They petitioned for judicial review of the voting provisions of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013, alleging that the prohibition on their voting was incompatible with their rights.''

She said their claims had already been dismissed by judges in Scotland.

The spokeswoman said justices would consider a series of legal questions, including whether provisions prohibiting prisoner voting were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and whether they breached the common law right to vote.

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