Prisoner rights and prisoner voting are UN-mandated issues, as the organization seeks to uphold the rights of all individuals and ensure they are not being violated. Scotland is one of the nations inside of the EU that does not allow prisoners to vote. The report prepared by Christina McKelvie et al. (5) analyzes the legalistic and human rights background of the issue and proposes to abolish the ban on prisoner voting in Scotland, in order to pay respect for the greater devolved responsibility for the democratic process.
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In the report, McKelvie et al. (8) highlight the important contradictions behind the blanket ban, namely the lack of understanding behind the purpose of the prison, the influence of the media and the public press, as well as the potential consequences for democracy and human rights. According to their findings, the deprivation of the right to vote would encourage the criminal to oppose society and commit more crimes, not less. The reports also point out that the opposition to the right to vote operates on emotional factors rather than legalistic arguments or logic. Lastly, the ban on voting violates Article 3 Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights, Article 21 of the International Convention of Human Rights, and Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (McKelvie et al. 26).
The report is well-entrenched in the legal frameworks of Scotland, the EU, and the UN. It is supported by numerous citations from local and international acts regarding the rights of prisoners and individuals in general. However, the report does not address the ethical issues behind the ban and does not have enough academic research to back up some of its claims.
In addition, the report dismisses the political and justice views of the majority of the society as “emotion-driven” and “influenced by the mass media” (McKelvie 27). The paper asserts the purpose of prisons as correctional facilities without consulting the opinion of the population on such matters. In a democracy, the voice of the people should prevail over individual opinions and concerns. The paper does not show any of that, which construes a weakness.
McKelvie, Christina et al. Prisoner voting in Scotland. 2018, Web.