Today the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, said that there is a possibility that parliament changes the rules over voting rights in a way that prisoners may be refused legal aid to sue the government.
As there is a six-month deadline set by theStrasbourgcourt, Grayling also mentioned that MPs will get the opportunity to choose among three options concerning the voting rights of prisoners. Both
House of Commons and the House of Lords will have to make up their minds over the three options. The proposed options are:
- a ban for prisoners sentenced to more than six months
- a ban for prisoners sentenced to four years or more
- a ban for all convicted prisoners
According to the European Court of Human Rights, prisoners in the UK cannot be banned voting because this will contradict to article three of the European Convention on Human Rights referring to the the right to free and fair elections.A few weeks ago, The Legal Stop informed you about the situation:
Grayling told parliament that: ‘As lord chancellor, as well as secretary of state for justice, I take the obligation on me to uphold the rule of law seriously.’
However, he also mentioned that the parliament is the only institution that may change the current law and until this happened there was no way so that things change.
To questions on his plans against ‘ambulance-chasing compensation claims’ the justice secretary answered “I have asked the question about the use of legal aid for purposes I don’t believe our legal aid system is designed to be there for, and I hope to be bringing forward further thoughts in that area before very long.”
Grayling’s thoughts about theStrasbourgcourt are identical to those of the Labour’s former justice secretary Jack Straw. They both agree that theUKis one of the countries that need special reforms in their systems because the decisions of theStrasbourgcourt have gone far beyond the aims of its creators.