Woolas, Regina (on The Application of) v The Speaker of The House of Commons: Admn 3 Dec 2010

The claimant sought to challenge the decision of an Election court setting aside his election as a Member of Parliament. The court was asked to decide whether it had jurisdiction to review a determination by the Election Court of a point of law, and if so whether that court had correctly decided as to the test of whether a statement had been made ‘in relation to the personal character or conduct’ of his opponent.
Held: The request fro review was refused. The court set out the history of its involvement in election disputes, recording that when, in 1868, it was proposed that election disputes should be referred to the courts, the then Lord Chief Justice, Sir Alexander Cockburn Bt (ironically the country’s leading expert in electoral law), wrote a stern letter of protest to the Lord Chancellor and earned himself an unflattering cartoon in Punch for his pains. All to no avail. If, as Parliament believed, politicians could not be trusted to resolve election disputes fairly, then who was left but the judiciary?

Thomas LJ, Tugendhat J, Nicola Davies J
[2010] EWHC 3169 (Admin), [2011] 2 WLR 1362, [2012] QB 1
Representation of the People Act 1983 106(1)
England and Wales
See AlsoWatkins v Woolas QBD 5-Nov-2010
The petitioner said that in the course of the election campaign, the respondent Labour candidate had used illegal practices in the form of deliberately misleading and racially inflammatory material.
Held: The claim succeeded, and the election . .

Cited by:
CitedErlam and Others v Rahman and Another QBD 23-Apr-2015
The petitioners had alleged that the respondent, in his or his agent’s conduct of his campaign to be elected Mayor for Tower Hamlets in London in May 2014, had engaged in corrupt and illegal practices.
Held: The election was set aside for . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Elections, Constitutional

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.427027