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Title: Prisoners' voting rights in the Omani legal system : a critical and analytical study of the relevant provisions of Omani legislation
Author: Al'azri, Juma'a Musallam
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6897
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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In the recent decades, several penal and electoral legislation have implemented different approaches to restrict the right of prisoners to stand for election as voters in the Omani legal system. This controversial policy has affected all Omani prison population even those who are not convicted of committing any crime yet (such as remanded prisoners and awaiting trial) as well as civil prisoners. This thesis argues that the right to vote of prisoners has been seriously violated by the recent Omani disenfranchisement laws. This research argues that, the existing disenfranchisement provisions in Oman asserts the treatment of prisoners as least popular people who not worthy of being treated as citizens qualified for voting rights. This treatment plays a kay role in neglecting the interests and other rights of prisoners by the parliament. It also challenges the reintegration of ex-prisoners into society. Furthermore, prisoners' disenfranchisement Acts in Oman contradict the constitutional right of citizenship. They also violate many other constitutional rights and principles, most importantly the principle of legality (no crime and no punishment without law), the right to be presumed innocent and the right to a public and fair trial. Moreover, disallowing prisoners the right to vote has posed many unavoidable legal challenges to the Omani legal system. This research addresses the question whether the Omani laws, particularly the Penal Acts and Electoral Acts, respect the right to vote of prisoners. Moreover, it considers whether the right to vote of Omani people generally and of prisoners particularly is constitutionally protected. Furthermore, it discusses the extent to which the neglect of the issue of prisoners' voting rights has led to discrepancies between different forms of Omani legislation and violations of many protected constitutional rights and principles. This approach has been provided to analyze how the two different legal policies (electoral and penal) in Oman assess and judge basic issues pertaining to this study with respect to voting rights of prisoners. This research found that there is an essential need for the Omani legislature to reform the legislation with regard to prisoners' voting rights. The right of Omani people to vote must be explicitly guaranteed by the Oman Constitution or, at least, a high rank of legislation (law, rather than a ministerial decree) in the Omani legal order. Oman is urged to ratify international and regional agreements, which protect the right to vote. Omani voters generally must be allowed the right to appeal before the judiciary against the violation of their voting rights. The existing restrictions on prisoners' voting rights could be amended and limited to those who are convicted for committing electoral crimes whether sentenced to imprisonment or other sentences.
Supervisor: Green, Heather ; Duff, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Prisoners ; Election law ; Suffrage