26 May 2017

Court decision against prisoner voting ban upheld

2:13 pm on 26 May 2017

A court decision that banning prisoners from voting breaches their human rights has been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Arthur Taylor in the High Court at Auckland.

Arthur Taylor during a previous hearing on the voting ban in the High Court in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker-Wilson

Parliament passed a law in 2010 banning all prisoners from voting no matter how long their sentence.

Previously the ban had only applied to prisoners jailed for three years or more.

Career criminal Arthur Taylor successfully sought a High Court declaration in 2015 that the ban is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

The Crown asked the Court of Appeal to overturn that declaration last year, but today's judgment ruled the High Court had the power to make it.

A separate appeal about the way the ban legislation was passed was heard earlier this month, and the Court reserved its decision.

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