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Prisoners: Voting

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 21 March (WA 123), which Council of Europe countries do not permit prisoners to vote; of those that do, what are the arrangements in place to enable them to vote; and whether any require prisoners to attend a polling station to exercise their right.

Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords

I understand Lord Howell of Guildford placed information in the Library of the House on prisoner voting rights in Council of Europe member states. This information note can be found at the following address: http://deposits.parliament.uk/

It can be searched using the following reference: DEP2011-0663 Lords 14/04/2011 Foreign and Commonwealth Office DEP2011-0663.DOC

The House of Commons Library has separately produced a table showing prisoners' voting rights in a number of Council of Europe member states: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN01764

There are gaps in both lists and some slight discrepancies between the two. This will reflect non-responses to requests for information from some member states and the difficulty determining with certainty the precise regimes in place for prisoners voting given differences in political and judicial systems and processes between member states.

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