Four murderers and a convicted drug dealer have asked to be allowed NHS fertility treatment so that they can father a child from behind bars, it was reported last night.
It is feared that legal advice may mean ministers feel obliged to grant the requests because of a previous European court ruling on human rights.
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said there was “no clearer example of why we need changes to the human rights framework”.
Last year it emerged that a prisoner had been given access to artificial insemination on the NHS at a cost of around £2,000.
Since then there have been 13 applications for such treatment made by inmates in England and Wales, the Daily Mail reported. Eight have been rejected by five are still being considered by ministers.
Mr Grayling said “There can be no clearer example of why we need changes to the Human Rights framework.
“I don’t believe the originators of the Convention on Human Rights ever imagined it being used for things like this.
“The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has extended its remit into areas which have little to do with real human rights issues and I intend to bring forward proposals about how we change that.”
The cases come after murderer Kirk Dickson won a European court battle in 2007 over an initial refusal to grant his request for fertility treatment to have a child with his partner.
They are likely to spark further disgruntlement over the influence of European judges in the way Britain deals with its prison population.
The Government is already being told to allow inmates the right to vote despite MPs voting to retain the ban on them doing so.
Andrew Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, told the Mail: “When you commit a crime such as murder you should lose your rights and liberties.”