Joint Committee takes evidence from Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Attorney General

06 November 2013

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill will this week take evidence in two sessions from Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve MP.


Wednesday 6th November, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster


  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
  • Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director of Human Rights at the General Directorate of Human Rights of the Council of Europe


  • Rt Hon Dominic Grieve, QC 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.

Further information

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