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Interim report on electoral reform 04/02/2016 The UK needs a new legal framework to govern the conduct of elections and referendums, according to an interim report by the UK Law Commissions

Interim report on electoral reform

The UK needs a new, modern and rational legal framework to govern the conduct of elections and referendums, according to an interim report by the Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The report recommends reforms that will:

  • rationalise the laws governing elections into a single, consistent legislative framework governing all elections and referendums,
  • make electoral laws consistent across all types of election, and
  • simplify and modernise out-of-date and complex laws, many of them Victorian in origin.

In particular, the Commissions are recommending that the process for challenging elections should be modernised, making it easier for parties to understand and use, and that judges be given the power, in appropriate cases, to limit the potential costs for challengers. The interim report also recommends that existing electoral offences be updated and made easier for the electorate, officials and prosecutors to understand, and that the maximum sentence for serious electoral offences be increased to 10 years.

The Governments will now assess the interim report before deciding whether to ask the Commissions to proceed to the next stage of the project, which would involve submitting final recommendations for the reform of electoral law, along with draft legislation.

The interim report is available here.

 

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