Four years have passed since the last comments on this thread and finally
the States Assembly will be forced to confront the incompatibility of its election law with the European Convention of Human Rights:
The vast length of time (more than a decade) that Jersey has been able to keep kicking this relatively minor issue into the long grass when they knew their 2002 legislation was not compatible with the Convention is as good a reason as any why Jersey should not be allowed greater autonomy from the UK. If it wants independence and the right to hobnob with the likes of Angela Merkel at various international conventions then it should be fully complying with international law
Yes, I know that the UK parliament has also defied Strasbourg on this same issue but at least the legislature in Westminster had an open debate and took a vote on it. Conversely, what the States Assembly has done is, well, nothing at all really. The status quo was allowed to continue this long only because of a very convenient situation whereby the Assembly would not collectively have to take a potentially unpopular decision to give voting rights to prisoners unless an individual States Member decided to lodge a proposition. Yet not one States Member was brave enough to risk a JEP/Bailiwick Express backlash by lodging that proposition. No, not even those apparently claiming to be in favour of electoral reform!
Yet now we see one of the more socially conservative legislators (Constable Len Norman of PPC) suddenly deciding to put the matter before the Assembly - why? The answer is obvious and is mentioned in the JEP's article as follows:
However, Constable Len Norman, who chairs the PPC, has now said that it is time for Jersey to discuss the issue following advice from the Island’s Legislation Advisory Panel.
That's right. The lawyers have advised them that they cannot continue to avoid the issue any longer and whereas they blatantly ignore the electorate whenever it suits them, they never fail to do what their appointed consultants tell them to do.
Expect Hilton or Martins to lodge an amendment to reduce that period of 4 years down to about 1 year and expect the States Assembly to support that amendment, as it will result in far fewer prisoners gaining the legal right to vote. That would enable those invertebrates supporting the amendment to claim a PR victory in spite of doing what they vowed they would never do - give serving prisoners the right to vote.