Penal reformers have expressed disappointment at a negative ruling from the Court of Session in Scotland on prisoner votes.
Lord Glennie threw out a legal challenge from three men to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's blanket ban on inmates voting in the September 2014 independence referendum.
Citing European and human rights law, lawyer Tony Kenny, said of his clients: "They argue that the settled will of the people of Scotland should entail all citizens having a right to express a view on the future of the nation."
The ruling was described as a "missed opportunity to aid rehabilitation" by critics of the ban today (18 December).
The opinion of Lord Glennie follows attempts earlier this year by Patrick Harvie MSP to amend the Franchise Bill, which determines who gets to vote in next year's independence referendum.
Mr Harvie, a Green MSP for Glasgow, said: "Extending the referendum franchise to prisoners serving very short sentences or those with only a short time left to serve would have been a positive step forward. This ruling is another missed opportunity, following on from the Scottish Government voting against my amendments to the Bill.
"Across society many people see participation in democracy as helpful to reforming those who have been punished for wrongdoing. We may not have succeeded on this occasion but I know those of us who care about addressing the issue of reoffending will continue to make the case for voting as part of that process," he added.
* Opinion of Lord Glennie from the Court of Session:
* Howard League briefing on "opportunity for the Parliament to put down a marker about the value placed on democratic rights, social justice and effective rehabilitation" (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document):