Ten Scottish life prisoners have been told that it was a breach of their human rights to deny them the right to vote.
Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said that the rights of the prisoners were breached by the UK government but ruled that no compensation or costs should be paid.
The ten inmates took their case to the ECHR over their ineligibility to vote in the 2009 European elections, STV reported.
The court decided that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which concerns the right to a free election. The same conclusion was reached in an earlier prisoner voting case in the UK.
In 2004 the ECHR stated that a blanket ban on prisoners voting was unlawful, but two successive UK governments have failed to change policy on the issue. In 2011, MPs in the House of Commons voted in favour of keeping the ban for all prisoners, apart from those on remand awaiting trial, STV said.
However, the judges recognised recent steps taken in the UK in relation to this issue, with the publication of a draft bill and a Joint Committee on Prisoner Voting Rights appointed to examine the bill. That resulted in a recommendation to allow prisoners who were serving 12 months or less to be permitted to vote.
Commenting on the matter, a spokesman for the UK Ministry of Justice said: “The government has always been clear that it believes prisoner voting is an issue that should ultimately be decided in the UK.”