Andrew Turner, the Island’s MP, is disappointed, but not surprised, at the way in which the UK Parliament has been blatantly ignored by the European Court of Human Rights, following the Court’s refusal on 12th April to hear the Government’s appeal on the issue of votes for prisoners.
In current British law, the Forfeiture Act of 1870 denies a convicted criminal, who has broken their contract with society by committing a crime, the right to vote. However, following a successful bid by a convicted murderer to challenge this in the European Court of Human Rights, the Court directed the British Government to change the law. In February, Mr Turner voted with a majority of 212 Members of Parliament against this European diktat.
On the basis of the overwhelming vote in Parliament, the Government appealed to the European Court’s appeals body, the Grand Chamber. Unfortunately, the Grand Chamber refused to hear the appeal, directed that the law must be changed, and set an arbitrary six month deadline for implementation.
Mr Turner said:
“The Grand Chamber’s refusal to even hear the British Government’s appeal demonstrates the contempt in which the British people, and their representatives, are held by the European Court of Human Rights. This is another example of an unelected European authority trampling on the will of Parliament. I will strongly urge the Government to acknowledge the sovereignty of Parliament and refuse to implement this European directive.
The sooner we pull out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, dump the Human Rights Act, and introduce our own British Bill of Rights the better.”
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