Prisoner voting rights and international law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The disenfranchisement of convicted prisoners is perhaps the ultimate dilemma in the debate on whether prisoners should enjoy human rights during (and after) incarceration. Although few would argue that prisoners should forgo their right to life, or be subjected to torture or other ill treatment during their sentence, the enjoyment of democratic rights in prison splits the academic, political and public divide. Those who favour the automatic forfeiture of prisoners’ rights will advocate either that prisoners forgo their democratic rights to speech, privacy, association etc. after sentence, or that at the very least any rights that they did possess before incarceration have now become privileges, to be enjoyed at the discretion of the prison authorities and current government policy. On the other hand, those who support prisoners’ rights will cite human dignity, self-autonomy and the retention by prisoners of civil and political rights as human beings as the reason for retaining democratic rights; to be interfered with only within the boundaries of legitimacy and reasonableness as laid down in international human rights law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrisoners' Vote
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary and Comparative Perspective
EditorsMartine Hezog-Evans, Jérôme Thomas
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781032228778
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2024


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