Public law

Prisoners’ voting rights: developments since May 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 3:00pm

This House of Commons Briefing Paper analyses the debate over the voting rights of prisoners since May 2015, it also includes a concise summary of the main developments before May 2015. Download the full reportOverviewIn December 2017 the UK Government came up with proposals that the Council of Europe said were sufficient to signify compliance with the 2005 ruling.

Key Points: 


This House of Commons Briefing Paper analyses the debate over the voting rights of prisoners since May 2015, it also includes a concise summary of the main developments before May 2015.

Download the full report

    Overview

      • In December 2017 the UK Government came up with proposals that the Council of Europe said were sufficient to signify compliance with the 2005 ruling.
      • The responsibility for local and devolved elections in Scotland and Wales, including the franchise for those electionsis nowdevolved.
      • This briefing gives a summary of events before May 2015 and examines the debate since May 2015.
      • For more detail of events before 2015, see Commons Librarys standard note Prisoners voting rights (2005 to May 2015).

    The ban

      • The current provisions are set out in Section 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.
      • This ban does not apply to prisoners on remand.
      • The disenfranchisement of prisoners in Great Britain dates back to the Forfeiture Act 1870 and was been linked to the notion of civic death.

    The challenge

      • In 2001 the ban was challenged by three convicted prisoners.
      • The domestic courts rejected the challenge and one of the prisoners, John Hirst, then took his case to the ECtHR.
      • The central element to the ECtHR ruling was that the UKs blanket ban on prisoner voting was indiscriminate and disproportionate.

    The debate

      • The Hirst (No 2) judgment set off a political debate.
      • This debate has largely focused on the constitutional issues raised by the judgment, in particular: the UKs relationship with the ECtHR; reform of the Human Rights Act 1998; and the importance of parliamentary sovereignty.
      • Hirst (No 2) is regarded by some as an example of the ECtHR overstepping its proper role and encroaching upon Parliaments legislative authority.

    The responses

      • In the 2005 Parliament, the Labour Government issued two consultations, one in 2006 and one in 2009.
      • It did not bring forward final proposals before the 2010 General Election.
      • In 2013, a Joint Committee scrutinising the Bill recommended that all prisoners serving sentences of 12 months or less should be entitled to vote in all UK parliamentary, local and European elections.
      • The Government did not formally respond and these proposals were not taken forward.
      • Neither a response to the Committee nor a consultation on the Human Rights Act has yet been published.

    The solution

      • These proposals are more limited in scope than those included in previous proposals.
      • The main change proposed is to allow prisoners on Temporary Licence to vote.
      • It agreed to report back to the Council of Europes Committee of Ministers by September 2018.
      • The Council of Europe confirmed that the case was closed at its meeting of September 2018.

    Scotland and Wales

    Lords committee monitoring Coronavirus Secondary Legislation

    Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 12:03am

    The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee is considering statutory instruments (subject to parliamentary procedure) that are being laid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

    Key Points: 
    • The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee is considering statutory instruments (subject to parliamentary procedure) that are being laid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The committee has created a new page to track all SIs arising from the Coronavirus Act and their subsequent reports on them .
    • SIs are secondary pieces of legislation that ministers or other bodies are enabled to create by a law.
    • These pieces of secondary legislation are used to fill in the details of Acts (pieces of primary legislation), providing practical measures to enable the law to operate.

    Notice from the Office of the Secretary - Ontario Securities Commission

    Friday, March 27, 2020 - 9:48pm

    TORONTO, March 27, 2020 /CNW/ -The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing on March 27, 2020 setting the matter down to be heard on April 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to consider whether the Commission should grant the Application filed by Staff of the Commission to extend the temporary order issued by the Commission on March 20, 2020.

    Key Points: 
    • TORONTO, March 27, 2020 /CNW/ -The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing on March 27, 2020 setting the matter down to be heard on April 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to consider whether the Commission should grant the Application filed by Staff of the Commission to extend the temporary order issued by the Commission on March 20, 2020.
    • A copy of the Notice of Hearing dated March 27, 2020 and Application dated March 25, 2020 are available at www.osc.gov.on.ca

    MFDA Hearing Panel issues Reasons for Decision in the matter of William Allan

    Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 9:24pm

    TORONTO, March 26, 2020 /CNW/ -A Hearing Panel of the Pacific Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA") has issued its Reasons for Decision dated March 26, 2020 ("Reasons for Decision") in connection with a settlement hearing held in Vancouver, British Columbiaon November 4, 2019 in the matter of William Alexander Hector Allan ("Respondent").

    Key Points: 
    • TORONTO, March 26, 2020 /CNW/ -A Hearing Panel of the Pacific Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA") has issued its Reasons for Decision dated March 26, 2020 ("Reasons for Decision") in connection with a settlement hearing held in Vancouver, British Columbiaon November 4, 2019 in the matter of William Alexander Hector Allan ("Respondent").
    • In its Reasons for Decision, the Hearing Panel confirmed the sanctions imposed on the Respondent.
    • A copy of the Reasons for Decision is available on the MFDA website at www.mfda.ca .
    • During the period described in the Reasons for Decision, the Respondent carried on business in the Nanaimo, British Columbia area.

    Enforcement Notice - Hearing - IN THE MATTER OF Christian Desmarais - Adjournment

    Monday, March 16, 2020 - 4:26pm

    MONTRAL, March 16, 2020 /CNW/ - A Settlement hearing was originally scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) in the matter of Christian Desmarais on March 19, 2020.

    Key Points: 
    • MONTRAL, March 16, 2020 /CNW/ - A Settlement hearing was originally scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) in the matter of Christian Desmarais on March 19, 2020.
    • The alleged contraventions occurred while Mr. Desmarais was a registered representative with the Drummondville branch of Desjardins Securities Inc., an IIROC-regulated firm.
    • The hearing is not open to the public unless and until the Settlement Agreement has been accepted by the Hearing Panel.
    • The Notice of Application for Settlement Hearing is available at:
      Documents related to ongoing IIROC enforcement proceedings including Reasons and Decisions of Hearing Panels are posted on the IIROC website as they become available.

    Monthly information related to total number of voting rights and shares composing the share capital – February 29, 2020

    Friday, March 6, 2020 - 5:00pm

    (1)Gross voting rights number (or theoretical voting rights) is used as a basis for calculating the crossing of the threshold.

    Key Points: 
    • (1)Gross voting rights number (or theoretical voting rights) is used as a basis for calculating the crossing of the threshold.
    • In accordance with article 223-11 of general regulation of Autorit des Marchs Financiers, this number is calculated on the basis of all shares carrying the single and double voting rights, including shares without voting rights.

    Notice from the Office of the Secretary - Ontario Securities Commission

    Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 9:26pm

    IN THE MATTER OF ISSAM EL-BOUJI, File No.

    Key Points: 
    • IN THE MATTER OF ISSAM EL-BOUJI, File No.
    • 2018-28
      TORONTO, March 5, 2020 /CNW/ - The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing for a hearing to consider whether it is in the public interest to approve a settlement agreement entered into by Staff of the Commission and Issam El-Bouji in the above named matter.
    • The hearing will be held on March 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. on the 17th floor of the Commission's offices located at 20 Queen Street West, Toronto.
    • A copy of the Notice of Hearing dated March 5, 2020 is available at www.osc.gov.on.ca .

    Notice from the Office of the Secretary - Ontario Securities Commission

    Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 9:21pm

    IN THE MATTER OF GLOBAL RESP CORPORATION AND GLOBAL GROWTH ASSETS INC., File No.

    Key Points: 
    • IN THE MATTER OF GLOBAL RESP CORPORATION AND GLOBAL GROWTH ASSETS INC., File No.
    • 2020-7
      TORONTO, March 5, 2020 /CNW/ - The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing for a hearing to consider whether it is in the public interest to approve a settlement agreement entered into by Staff of the Commission and Global RESP Corporation and Global Growth Assets Inc. in the above named matter.
    • The hearing will be held on March 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. on the 17th floor of the Commission's offices located at 20 Queen Street West, Toronto.
    • A copy of the Notice of Hearing dated March 5, 2020 and the Statement of Allegations dated March 4, 2020 are available at www.osc.gov.on.ca

    MFDA Hearing Panel approves settlement agreement with Lawrence Geisel

    Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 8:58pm

    TORONTO, March 3, 2020 /CNW/ - A settlement hearing in the matter of Lawrence Edward Geisel ("Respondent") was held today in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan before a three-member Hearing Panel of the Prairie Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA").

    Key Points: 
    • TORONTO, March 3, 2020 /CNW/ - A settlement hearing in the matter of Lawrence Edward Geisel ("Respondent") was held today in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan before a three-member Hearing Panel of the Prairie Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada ("MFDA").
    • The Hearing Panel approved the settlement agreement dated December 17, 2019 ("Settlement Agreement") between Staff of the MFDA and the Respondent, as a consequence of which the following sanctions were imposed on the Respondent:
      a fine in the amount of $11,500;
      costs in the amount of $2,500; and
      shall in the future comply with MFDA Rule 2.1.1.
    • In the Settlement Agreement, the Respondent admitted that between September 2017 and May2018, he obtained, possessed, and used to process transactions, 44 pre-signed account forms in respect of 14 clients, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1.
    • A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available on the MFDA website at www.mfda.ca .

    REPORT on the request for waiver of the immunity of Gunnar Beck - A9-0036/2020

    Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 8:00pm

    on the request for waiver of the immunity of Gunnar Beck

    Key Points: 
    • on the request for waiver of the immunity of Gunnar Beck

      (2019/2154(IMM))

      The European Parliament,

      having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Gunnar Beck, forwarded on 29 October 2019 by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in connection with Procedure No 80 AR 137/19 and announced in plenary on 25 November 2019,

      having heard Gunnar Beck in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

      having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and to Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

      having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17January 2013 and 30 April 2019[1],

      having regard to Article 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany,

      having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

      having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A9-0036/2020),

      A.whereas the Dsseldorf Chief Public Prosecutor has requested the waiver of the immunity of Gunnar Beck, Member of the European Parliament, in connection with a possible investigation into the alleged misuse of titles, a crime established and punishable under Section 132a (1)(1) of the German Criminal Code;

      B.whereas the investigation does not concern opinions expressed or votes cast by Gunnar Beck in the performance of his duties, in accordance with Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union;

      C.whereas Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union states that Members of the European Parliament enjoy, in the territory of their own state, the immunities accorded to members of the parliament of that state;

      D.whereas on the ballot paper for the election of Members of the European Parliament of 26 May 2019, Gunnar Beck was listed as Prof. Dr. Gunnar Beck, Hochschuldozent [university lecturer], Barrister-at-Law fr EU-Recht [for EU law], Neuss (NW); whereas in 1996 Gunnar Beck was awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy in Oxford, Great Britain, while in Germany he obtained the title of neither professor nor doctor; whereas before the constituent part-session of the European Parliament, the Dsseldorf Public Prosecutors Office launched an investigation on the basis of press reports and criminal complaints into suspected misuse of a title under Section 132a(1)(1) of the German Criminal Code; whereas shortly after 5 July 2019 and presumably on 9 July 2019, the investigation was suspended as a result of the election of Gunnar Beck to the European Parliament; whereas on 4 September 2019 the Dsseldorf Chief Public Prosecutor forwarded a request for the waiver of Gunnar Becks immunity to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection with a view to relaunching the investigation into suspected misuse of a title under Section 132a(1)(1) of the German Criminal Code;

      E.whereas pursuant to Rule 9(8) of the Rules of Procedure, the Committee on Legal Affairs shall not, under any circumstances, pronounce on the guilt, or otherwise, of the Member, nor shall it pronounce on whether or not the opinions or acts attributed to the Member justify prosecution, even if the committee, in considering the request, acquires detailed knowledge of the facts of the case;

      F.whereas in accordance with Rule 5(2) of the Rules of Procedure, parliamentary immunity is not a Members personal privilege but a guarantee of the independence of Parliament as a whole and of its Members;

      G.whereas the purpose of parliamentary immunity is to protect Parliament and its Members from legal proceedings in relation to activities carried out in the performance of parliamentary duties and which cannot be separated from those duties;

      H.whereas in this case, Parliament has found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, i.e.

    • factual elements which indicate that the intention underlying the legal proceedings may be to damage a Members political activity, and thus the European Parliament;

      1.Decides to waive the immunity of Gunnar Beck;

      2.Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the German authorities and to Gunnar Beck.