Joint Committee on Prisoner Voting to take evidence from Attorney General and Council of Europe

04 November 2013


The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Prisoner Voting Bill will this week take evidence from Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve MP.

Giving evidence will be:

  • 9:15am:  Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General, Council of Europe and Christos Giakoumopoulis, Director of Human Rights at the General Directorate of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe
  • 10.30am:  Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP, Attorney General

In the first session, the Committee will question former Norwegian Prime Minister Mr Jagland on any steps the Council of Europe institutions would take against the UK if Parliament were to choose to restate the existing ban disqualifying all prisoners serving custodial sentences from voting and what might be the long-term implications for the Council of Europe itself if the UK refused to comply with the judgement.

The second session, with Mr Grieve, will focus on the legality of the options contained in the draft Bill, and in particular whether it is appropriate for Ministers to put forward an option that seems to leave the UK in violation of its obligations under international law.  The Attorney General will also be asked if the Government considers the maintenance of the ban on prisoner voting to be of such importance that it would consider withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in order to avoid compliance.

The Committee will hold two evidence sessions on Wednesday 6 November in Committee Room 8.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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