Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, is describing today's ruling from the Court of Session on prisoner votes as a missed opportunity to aid rehabilitation.

The opinion of Lord Glennie follows attempts earlier this year by Mr Harvie to amend the Franchise Bill, which determines who gets to vote in next year's independence referendum.

Mr Harvie said:

"Extending the referendum franchise to prisoners serving very short sentences or those with only a short time left to serve would have been a positive step forward. Today's ruling is another missed opportunity, following on from the Scottish Government voting against my amendments to the Bill.

"Across society many people see participation in democracy as helpful to reforming those who have been punished for wrongdoing. We may not have succeeded on this occasion but I know those of us who care about addressing the issue of reoffending will continue to make the case for voting as part of that process."


Opinion of Lord Glennie from the Court of Session

Howard League briefing on "opportunity for the Parliament to put down a marker about the value placed on democratic rights, social justice and effective rehabilitation"