Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Some Australian Prisoners Entitled to Vote

The High Court of Australia has held that a 2006 law prohibiting prisoners serving a sentence of less than three years from voting was invalid under the Commonwealth Constitution.

The special action before The High Court challenged the Commonwealth Electoral Act amendment of 2006. Prior to that amendment, prisoners serving three years or more were not entitled to vote. The amendment provided that any prisoner serving a sentence of imprisonment was not entitled to vote.

In finding that the amendment violated sections 7 and 24 of the Commonwealth Constitution, The High Court upheld the pre-2006 legislation prohibiting prisoners with sentences longer than three years from voting, holding that it remained in force and was valid. The 2006 amendment, however, was struck down as an invalid law.

The Court awarded the plaintiff half of her costs. See: Vicki Lee Roach v. Electoral Commissioner and Commonwealth of Australia, HCA 43 (2007).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login