TODAY |

Government should have 'moral obligation' to address prisoner voting ban - Inside Parliament

It has been eight years since prisoners were stripped of the right to vote. But last week saw a significant turning point for those fighting to be counted. 

A High Court ruling found National's 2010 amendment to the Electoral Act, disenfranchising prisoners, did breach the Bill of Rights. This was appealed to the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court upheld the High Court's findings. It stated that courts do have the power to rule laws inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. 

It found the ban on prisoner voting was an example of such a breach. 

Despite the ruling, re-examining prisoner voting rights is not a priority for the current Government. Instead, they are looking at a Parliamentary remedy, which would respond to future rulings of inconsistencies within the Bill of Rights. 

On 1 NEWS' political podcast Inside Parliament, the reporters discuss what the Government has said in the past. 

"Seems like they're putting it on the back-burner," Benedict Collins said, listing off past comments current ministers made in reference to the then-National Government banning prisoners from voting. 

"Strong in Opposition," Collins said. 

"Weak in power," said Maiki Sherman.

"Now they're in Government, now we've had the Supreme Court basically say courts do have the right to declare law inconsistent with the Bill of Rights... and yet the Government are saying it's not a priority for them."

"How can that even be? I feel like there should be a moral obligation at the very least to do something and to address this."

A weekly catch up with our political reporters about the stories they’ve been covering. Source: 1 NEWS