Although the Representation of the People Act 2000 permits most psychiatric in-patients to register on the electoral register, transferred prisoners and those admitted to hospital under hospital orders remain disenfranchised by law. This article clarifies the voting rights of individuals receiving in-patient psychiatric care and contends that the selective disenfranchisement of some mentally disordered offenders is problematic, discriminatory and may breach international human rights law. There are therefore strong arguments for the UK government to address this long-standing inequality before the next general election.
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