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Law - Essay Example

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For instance, convicted inmates are automatically prohibited to vote in Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Armenia and the United Kingdom. The issue is specifically questionable in the United Kingdom.1 The British High…
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Download file to see previous pages... the UK government was in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights; the Grand Chamber of the European Court dismissed the appeal of the British government in October 2005. But as of June 2006 there has been no revision in UK law on the issue.3
Once the European Court of Human Rights ultimately rejected the British government’s inexcusable appeal in the John Hirst’s case they granted the New Labour Government with a rare and genuine opportunity to implement their much proclaimed policy of political and social inclusion.4 Until Hirst’s case, whenever any person in the United Kingdom is sentenced to imprisonment they sacrificed more than their rights or freedom. They also sacrificed their right to vote and along with it their position as citizens. Convicts remain the last primary group to be prohibited from the electorate.5 Consequently their welfare is mostly overlooked and politicians have little motivation to pay comprehensive and knowledgeable attention in penal policy.6 The electoral disentitlement of inmates is a remnant of the nineteenth century which plays no contemporary role and which is in conflict with the declared commitment of the government to social and political inclusion.7
Sentenced inmates in the UK have been stripped of their right to vote ever since the Forfeiture Act of 1870, immediately after the vote was bestowed upon multitudes of working class men in urban areas and after transportation was closed down as a court ruling.8 The forfeiture was brought in by a privileged class resolute to shun impoverished offenders away from the ballot box. In the past, the moving of lawbreakers and a quite controlled authorisation had implied that right to vote for inmates had never been a problem.9 The beginnings of the electoral banning of inmates can be traced back from the ancient concept of ‘civic death’, a sentence involving the forfeiture of citizenship rights.10 The prohibition reveals outdated and negative concepts of social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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