Begum and others v Returning Officer for London Borough of Tower Hamlets: CA 2 May 2006

Keith J had countermanded a forthcoming local election, and made an order under section 39(1) for a new election. The claimants had sought to stand but had not been allowed to do so, the returning officer having rejected their nomination papers. The papers had errors, but these were only discovered after nominations closed.
Held: The returnimg officer’s appeal succeeded, and the election should proceed. The Act and rules contained no explicit power to countermand for the High Court. The returning officer had failed to comply with a duty to check the papers in time to allow corrections, and that breach was causative of the wrong complained of, and had the errors been established, they could have been corrected. However, the conditions necessary to establish a legitimate expectation, as set out in Rowland, had not been met, and that element of claim failed.
Theere was a high likelihood of the applicants’ being elected, but at the same time any interference of the sort suggested should be granted in only the most exceptional circumstances. The likelihood of success at any challenge was not however so high as to allow a court to find that they would be bound to succeed.
Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Rix, Maurice Kay LJJ
[2006] EWCA Civ 733
Representation of the People Act 1983 39(1)
England and Wales
CitedRegina (De Beer and Others) v Balabanoff, Returning Officer for the London Borough of Harrow Admn 11-Apr-2002
Candidates in a local election submitted their nominations, but they were rejected by the returning officer. The original nominations were rejected because of the possibility of confusion between candidates. Amended papers were not properly . .
CitedRowland v The Environment Agency CA 19-Dec-2003
The claimant owned a house by the river Thames at Hedsor Water. Public rights of navigation existed over the Thames from time immemorial, and its management lay with the respondent. Landowners at Hedsor had sought to assert that that stretch was now . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.245864