Event: Prisoner Voting and the Constitution

Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_037Prisoner Voting and the Constitution

Co-sponsored by the Study of Parliament Group and the United Kingdom Constitution Law Association

18:00-19:30 Wednesday 18 June 2014 – The Moot Court, Faculty of Laws, University College London


Professor Jeremy Waldron (Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory and Fellow, University of Oxford, All Souls College; University Professor, NYU School of Law)

Associate Professor Aileen Kavanagh (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford and Tutorial Fellow, St Edmund Hall)

Colin Murray (Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle; Specialist adviser to the Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill)

Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky (Senior Consultant to Policy Exchange, Constitutional Affairs)


Alexander Horne (Legal and Senior Policy Adviser, Scrutiny Unit, House of Commons; Legal Adviser to the Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill)


While the media has often focused on the perceived unpopularity of extending the franchise to some prisoners and on criticising the role of the European Court of Human Rights, the debate on prisoner voting has also highlighted a number strengths and weaknesses of the United Kingdom’s constitution. The aim of this event is to identify and debate the constitutional issues that have emerged since the Grand Chamber judgment of Hirst (no 2).


The debate around prisoner voting has raised important questions on a number of different elements of the constitution including: the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, pre-legislative scrutiny and Parliament’s relationship with the Government. The event brings together some of the leading academic commentators on the constitution, human rights and prisoner voting to provide some answers to these questions.

Please register via the Eventbrite page: