The European Court of Human Rights upheld a previous ruling that a blanket ban on inmates being able to vote was unlawful.
However, the court signalled that the UK government could decide which prisoners should be enfranchised, meaning serious offenders such as murderers and rapists could be excluded.
Judges may even be handed discretion to decide which criminals are allowed the vote. The Government now has six months to comply with the ruling or face a raft of challenges and huge legal costs.I'm liking the way unaccountable ECHR judges are helping us to decide our own law. At this point I feel it's worth repeating a quote made in 1977 from former Labour MP Tony Benn in his diaries:
...I was a member of the first British Government in history to be informed that it was behaving illegally by a court whose ruling you could not alter by changing the law in the House of Commons. It was a turning point...