Prisoners’ Voting and Judges’ Powers

27 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2015

See all articles by John Finnis

John Finnis

Notre Dame Law School; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 6, 2015


Versions of this paper were delivered in Boston and Princeton, and then in Sydney and Fremantle, in the first half of 2014. This SSRN version is essentially that delivered at a public lecture in the University of Notre Dame Australia in Fremantle in June. It reviews decisions of courts in Australia, Canada, and South Africa, and in Strasbourg under the European Convention on Human Rights, with some reference to judicial decisions in the United Kingdom. Its argument that the principal decisions manifest a deeply flawed conception of constitutional governance and law has since been elaborated and extended in Finnis, “Judicial Law-Making and the ‘Living’ Instrumentalisation of the ECHR”, forthcoming in N.J. Barber, Richard Ekins, Paul Yowell, Lord Sumption and the Limits of Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2016), 73-120. Also Finnis, “Judicial Power: Past, Present and Future” (a lecture in Gray’s Inn Hall, 20 October 2015).

Keywords: ECHR, SCC, HCA, universal suffrage, proportionality

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Finnis, John M., Prisoners’ Voting and Judges’ Powers (November 6, 2015). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 58/2015, Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1529, Available at SSRN: or

John M. Finnis (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

University College
High Street
Oxford, England OX1 4BH
United Kingdom

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