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Prisoners lose final appeal on referendum voting rights

24 July 2014

Serving prisoners will not be entitled to vote in the Scottish independence referendum, following a decision by the UK Supreme Court today.

Shortly after hearing the appeals by Leslie Moohan and Andrew Gillon, both serving life sentences for murder, a court of seven judges announced that it was upholding the decision of the Court of Session, where both the Lord Ordinary and the Inner House had held that a prohibition on prisoners voting in the referendum was within the powers of the Scottish Parliament (click here for report).

The petitioners renewed the arguments, rejected by the courts below, that the relevant provisions of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013 were incompatible with their rights under the common law, the European Convention on Human Rights, and EU law.

However the Supreme Court took little time to dismiss the appeal. Full written reasons will be given in due course.

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