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European court gives Cameron ultimatum on prisoner votes
Date 13/04/2011 16:46  Author webmaster  Hits 1179  Language Global
13 APR 2011

European judges yesterday gave David Cameron a six month ultimatum to give prisoners the vote after snubbing the views of the UK parliament.

By Tom Whitehead | The Telegraph

The Coalition lost its final appeal against a ruling that some inmates should be allowed to vote because of their human rights.

The rejection, from the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, came despite a vote in parliament that overwhelmingly opposed giving prisoners a vote.

It means the Government now has until September to act or face a flood of compensation claims, which it will almost certainly lose.

And Europe is even demanding that it dictate a time frame in which the Government passes any necessary legislation.

Ministers were last night “disappointed” by the decision while one MP accused the Strasbourg court of “shocking arrogance” to dismiss the concerns of British politicians.

The ECHR ruled in 2005 that the blanket ban on prisoner voting was illegal because it breached their human rights.

The last Labour Government did not comply with the decision and the Coalition is still deciding what action to take.

Mr Cameron has said the ruling makes him “physically sick".

In February, MPs backed a Commons motion opposing the European ruling by 234 to 22.

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See also:
Britain must tell Europe No! over prisoners' votes (Daily Express)
Euro judges trample UK sovereignty and insist: You WILL give prisoners the vote (Daily Mail)
ECHR sets deadline on votes for prisoners (Independent)
Prisoners' voting rights: government loses final appeal in European court (Guardian)