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Criminology Reading Group - Votes behind bars - Luke Ray Campbell and Milena Tripkovic



Virtual Event


Wed 25 November 2020

*** Please note the change of start time ***

The University of Edinburgh Criminology Reading Group Seminar Series 2020/2021 presents:

Votes behind bars

Luke Ray Campbell and Dr. Milena Tripkovic

About the seminar

[T]he right to vote is not a privilege. In the twenty-first century, the presumption in a democratic State must be in favour of inclusion’ – Hirst judgment, European Convention on Human Rights (2004)

Sixteen years on from the E.C.H.R.’s initial finding that U.K. voter laws were in breach of human rights (specifically Article 3 of Protocol 1) due to the government’s stripping of the franchise from prisoners, The Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill has finally started to address this historic failure.

Repeated delays to movements that may have addressed this previously failed - indeed, former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron proclaimed that the concept of prisoners holding the right to vote left him ‘physically ill even to have to contemplate [extending the franchise]’. Change, however, is finally underway, yet the key question to be addressed during this discursive and dialogical Criminology Reading Group session asks whether the Bill goes far enough.

Following on from his recent article in Bella Caledonia - "Votes Behind Bars: Recognising Humanity, Avoiding Responsibility, & Lessons from David Graeber" - Luke Ray Campbell will open with a summary of the recent Bill, detailing the gaps in provision and the issue’s ongoing relevance for community development, community organising, and localised practice. Criminologist Milena Tripković joins us to discuss the impacts of the new Bill and its significance for prisoner citizenship and civic disenfranchisement.


Suggested Readings:

Campbell, L. R. (2020) Votes Behind Bars: Recognising Humanity, Avoiding Responsibility, & Lessons from David Graeber. Available at:

Tripković, M. (2019). Punishment and Citizenship: A Theory of Criminal Disenfranchisement. Studies in Penal Theory and Philosophy. Oxford: OUP USA. Available at:



Luke Ray Campbell is a lecturer on the University of Glasgow’s M.Ed. Adult Education, Youth Work, and Adult Education; an occasional Tutor at the University of the West of Scotland on their undergraduate version of the same programme; and a Community Development Worker with the Tollcross Community Hub / Foodbank Partnership. He’s also currently in the final year of his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, researching the impact on and responses to the last decade of austerity from lone parent families.

Milena Tripković joined Edinburgh Law School in 2019 as a Lecturer in Criminology, having previously taught at the University of Birmingham, University of Kent, and University of Novi Sad. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In line with her diverse educational background, Milena has researched various problems associated with crime and punishment. Her current research, which examines contemporary restrictions to citizenship rights of criminal offenders, is situated at the intersection of law, criminology, and normative political theory.


The even will take place on Zoom. It is free for all!

Please register to receive the Zoom link.


We look forward to seeing you there!

Image credit: Photo by Guido Coppa on Unsplash

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