Case Kulinski and Sabev v. Bulgaria

Importance Nature Application Number Case language State Date (dd/mm/yyyy)
2 Judgement 63849/09 English Bulgaria 21/07/2016

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 Kulinski and Sabev v. Bulgaria - 63849/09

Article 3 of Protocol No. 1

Constitutional ban on prisoners' voting rights : violation


The case concerned the constitutional ban on prisoners' voting rights. While both applicants were serving their sentences, elections to the European Parliament and to the Bulgarian Parliament took place – in June and July 2009 respectively. The Court noted that the deprivation of the right to vote applied to all conviction persons who were in detention, and that this prohibition was unambiguous and categorical. The Court recalled that in the Scoppola v. Italy (n°3) (no. 126/05) case, no violation of Art. 3 of Protocol No.1 was found because the removal of the right to vote by law was adjusted to the circumstances of the particular case, the gravity of the offence or the conduct of the offender. No such adjustment stemmed from the constitutional ban on prisoners' voting rights in the present case (see also Anchugov and Gladkov v. Russia). Therefore, the Court concluded that such a general, automatic and indiscriminate restriction was in breach of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1.