Ruvi Ziegler: The missing right to vote: The UK Supreme Court’s judgment in Chester and McGeoch

UK Constitutional Law Association

Magd tower cropped[2]On 16 October 2013, a seven-judge panel of the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) unanimously rejected two challenges (R (Chester) v Secretary of State for Justice  and McGeoch v The Lord President of the Council & Anor  and the judgment summary) brought by prisoners serving terms of life imprisonment against their disenfranchisement in UK national elections pursuant to section 3(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA) and in EU Parliamentary elections and UK local elections pursuant to section 8(2) of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002.

The UKSC rejected the Attorney General’s submission that the principles proclaimed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in its 2005 Hirst (No 2) and Scoppola (no. 3)judgments should not be followed. However, the UKSC declined to issue a declaration of incompatibility under section 4 of the Human Rights Act (HRA); such…

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