On Tuesday the ECtHR ruled that member states must give some prisoners the right to vote in Scoppola v Italy, and has imposed a timetable for the UK’s compliance. Parliament has previously strongly upheld the current blanket denial of voting rights to prisoners, and the Prime Minister intends to fight Strasbourg’s decision:
“I have always believed when you are sent to prison you lose certain rights and one of those rights is the right to vote.
“Crucially, I believe this should be a matter for Parliament to decide, not a foreign court.
“Parliament has made its decision and I completely agree with it.”
If Westminster complies with the order within six months the ECtHR will strike out any pending actions from UK prisoners, eliminating the prospect of large compensation payouts that the Government currently faces.
The Government has published a response to the House of Lords Constitution Committee’s report on judicial appointments. It rejects the suggestion of introducing quotas to ensure diversity in the judiciary but recognises it as a significant issue to be addressed, and supports encouraging applications from lawyers other than barristers.
Hardwicke have produced an overview of the White Paper on Anti-Social Behaviour Responses. Proposed changes include mandatory possession actions available to landlords where one of the identified “triggers” applies, and the replacement of ASBOs with Criminal Behaviour Orders on conviction and Crime Prevention Injunctions on application.
The Transition to Adult Alliance called for prosecutors to consider the maturity of a young adult when deciding whether to prosecute in the public interest. Their report suggests that extending the criteria used as a mitigating factor in sentencing would result in better informed charging decisions.
Carina Trimingham lost her privacy case against the Daily Mail. She sought compensation over “highly unpleasant and hurtful” articles repeatedly making reference to her sexual orientation but Mr Justice Tugendhat dismissed the claim, stating that her reasonable expectation of privacy was limited as she was “not the purely private figure she claims to be”. Speaking outside court Trimingham said that although she was disappointed with the judgment, it at least acknowledged that repeated mocking of a person by reference to their sexual orientation could amount to harassment.
Ratko Mladic’s war crimes trial will recommence on 25 June 2012 after a delay caused by a prosecution error in disclosing witness statements to Mladic’s legal team, caused by an inventory of over 100,000 documents which did not match the contents of the database.
Laura Johnson, the student convicted of burglary and handling stolen goods after chauffeuring looters in the London riots last year, was today sentenced to two years. Johnson will serve half of her sentence in prison due to time spent under a qualifying curfew.