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Prisoners lose Supreme Court bid to overturn referendum vote ban

The Supreme Court dismissed claims brought by Leslie Moohan and Andrew Gillon following a hearing in London on Thursday.

Her Majesty's Prison: Aylesbury
STV

Two prisoners serving life sentences who say rules which bar them from voting in the Scottish independence referendum breach their human rights have lost a fight in the UK's highest court.

The Supreme Court dismissed claims brought by Leslie Moohan and Andrew Gillon following a hearing in London on Thursday.

Their claims had already been dismissed by judges in Scotland.

Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger told lawyers that the prisoners' appeals were dismissed after a day-long hearing.

He said reasons for the decision would be given at a later date.

A panel of Supreme Court justices analysed provisions contained in the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013.

The panel had considered a series of legal questions, including whether provisions prohibiting prisoner voting were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and whether they breached the common law right to vote.

The justices were told that both inmates want to vote in the referendum on September 18 but are not eligible under the Franchise Act.

Lawyers for the two men argued that the prohibition is incompatible with prisoners' rights under common and European law.

But the justices disagreed.

The prisoners had appealed to the Supreme Court after their claims had been dismissed in Scotland by the Outer House and Inner House of the Court of Session.

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