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1. On any charge of treating being brought before any election com
wittee, it shall not be necessary, unless the committee should Otherwise decide, to prove agency in the first instance before giving in evidence the facts whereby the charge of treating is to
be sustained : 2. Where any person who has voted at any election is found by any
committee to have been guilty of bribery or treating at such election, his .vote shall be void, and may, upon a scrutiny, be struck off the list of voters, notwithstanding that the name of such guilty person has not been included in the list of voters to
ibe objected to: 3. Where any election petition complains that bribery, treating, or
other corrupt practices have been committed at any election, the committee to whose determination such petition is referred shall reportito the House of Commons whether or not corrupt practices have, or whether there is reason to believe corrupt practices have, extensively prevailed at such election in the place to which the
"petition refers. IX. 'Where an election committee has reported to the House of Commons that certain persons named by them have been guilty of bribery or treating, and where it appears by the report of any commission of inquiry into corrupt practices at any election made to Her Majesty and laid before Parliament that certain persons named by them have been gailty of the offences of bribery or treating, and have not been furnished by them with certificates of indeurnity, such report, with the evidence taken by the commission, shall be laid before the Attorney General, with a view to his instituting a prosecution against such persons if the evidence should, in his opinion, be sufficient to support a prosecution.
Repeal. X. There shall be repealed the several Acts of Parliament mentioned in the Sehedule hereto to the extent specified in the third column of the said Schedule, but such repeal shall not affect the punishment of any offence or the recovery of any penalty or forfeiture incurred under any of the provisions hereby repealed.
XI. The Corrupt Practices Prevention Acts shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date of the passing of this Act, and from thenceforth until the end of the then next session of Parliament.
*The Schedule. Extent of Repeal. 15th and 16th Vic., cap. 57. A.D. 1852. Sections and 10. 17th and 18th Vic., cap. 102. A.D. 1854. Sections 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,
20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 34. 21st and 22nd Vic., cap. 87. A.D. 1858. So much of Section (1) as
provides that a full, true, and particular account of all payments made for such conveyance, signed by the candidate or his agents, shall be delivered to the election auditor, with the names and addresses of the persons to whom such payments have been made, and the amount of such account shall be included in the general account of the expenses incurred at any election to be made out and kept by such election auditor. Also Sections 2, 4.
" THE ELECTION PETITIONS AND CORRUPT PRACTICES AT
ELECTIONS ACT, 1868.”
An Act for amending the Laws relating to Election Petitions, and pro
viding more effectually for the prevention of corrupt practices at Parliamentary Elections.
[31st July, 1868.) WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the laws relating to election petitions, aud to provide more effectually for the prevention of corrupt practices at Parliamentary elections :
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Preliminary. 1. This Act may be cited for all purposes as “ The Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868.”
II. The expression “the Court" shall, for the purposes of this Act, in its application to England mean the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, and in its application to Ireland the Court of Common Pleas at Dublin, and such Court shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have the same powers, jurisdiction, and authority with reference to an election petition and the proceedings thereou as it would have if such petition were an ordinary cause within their jurisdiction.
III. The following terms shall in this Act have the meanings herein. after assigned to them, unless there is something in the context repugnant to such construction; (that is to say,)
Metropolitan District” shall mean the City of London and the liberties thereof, and any parish or place subject to the jurisdiction
of the Metropolitan Board of Works : “ Election" shall mean an election of a member or members to serve
returning a member or members to serve in Parliament: “ Candidate " shall mean any person elected to serve in Parliament at
an election, and any person who has been nominated as or declared
himself a candidate at an election: “ Corrupt Practices * Corrupt Practice shall mean bribery,
treating, and undue influence, or any of such offences, as defined by
Act of Parliament, or recognized by the common law of Parliament: “ Rules of Court" shall mean rules to be made as herein-after
mentioned : “ Prescribed” shall mean“ prescribed by the rules of Court. "
IV. For the purposes of this Act “ Speaker" shall be deemed to include deputy speaker; and when the office of speaker is vacant, the
clerk of the House of Commons, or any other officer for the time being performing the duties of the clerk of the House of Commons, shall be deemed to be substituted for and to be included in the expression “ the speaker.”
Presentation and Service of Petition. V. Proin and after the next dissolution of Parliament a petition complaining of an undue return or undue election of a member to serve in Parliament for a county or borough may be presented to the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, if such county or borough is situate in England, or to the Court of Common Pleas at Dublin, if such county or borough is situate in Ireland, by any one or more of the following persons : 1. Some person who voted or who had a right to vote at the election
to which the petition relates; or, 2. Some person claiming to have had a right to be returned on
elected at such election; or, 3. Some person alleging himself to have been a candidate at such
election : And such petition is herein-after referred to as an election petition.
VI. The following enactments shall be made with respect to the presentation of an election petition under this Act: 1. The petition shall be signed by the Petitioner, or all the Petitioners
if more than One : 2. The petition shall be presented within twenty-one days after the
return has been made to the clerk of the Crown in Chancery in England, or to the clerk of the Crown and Hanaper in Ireland, as the case may be, of the member to whose election the petition relates, unless it question the return or election upon an allegation of corrupt practices, and specifically alleges a payment of money or other reward to have been made by any member, or on his account, or with his privity, since the time of such return, in pursuance or in furtherance of such corrupt practices, in which case the petition may be presented at any time within twenty-eight
days after the date of such payment: 3. Presentation of a petition shall be made by delivering it to the
prescribed officer or otherwise dealing with the same in manner
prescribed. 4. At the time of the presentation of the petition, or within three days
afterwards, security for the payment of all costs, charges, and
(a.) to any person summoned as a witness on his behalf, or,
(who is herein-after referred to as the respondent), shall be given on behalf of the petitioner: 5. The security shall be to an amount of one thousand pounds; it
shall be giver either by recognizance to be entered into by any nurver o buceties not exceeding four, or by a deposit of money ir manner prescribed, or partly in one way and partly in the other,
VII. On presentation of the petition the prescribed officer shall send a copy thereof to the returning officer of the county or borough to which the petition relates, who shall forthwith publish the same in the county or borough, as the case may be.
VIII. Notice of the presentation of a petition under this Act, and of the nature of the proposed security, accompanied with a copy of the petition, shall, within the prescribed time, not exceeding five days after the presentation of the petition, be served by the petitioner on the respondent; and it shall be lawful for the respondent, where the security is given wholly or partially by recognizance, within a further prescribed time, not exceeding five days from the date of the service on him of the notice, to object in writing to such recognizance, on the ground that the sureties, or any of them, are insufficient, or that a surety is dead, or that he cannot be found or ascertained from the want of a sufficient description in the recognizance, or that a person named in the recognizance has not duly acknowledged the same.
IX. Any objection made to the security given shall be heard and decided on in the prescribed manner. If an objection to the security is allowed it shall be lawful for the petitioner, within a further prescribed time, not exceeding five days, to remove such objection, by a deposit in the prescribed manner of such sum of money as may be deemed by the court or officer having cognizance of the matter to make the security sufficient.
If on objection made the security is decided to be insufficient, and such objection is not removed in manner herein-before mentioned, no further proceedings shall be had on the petition; otherwise, on the expiration of the time limited for making objections, or, after objection made, on the sufficiency of the security being established the petition shall be deemed to be at issue.
X. The prescribed officer shall, as soon as may be, make out a list of all petitions under this Act piesented to the court of which he is such officer, and which are at issue, placing them in the order in which they were presented, and shall keep at his office a copy of such list, hereinafter referred to as the election list, open to the inspection in the prescribed manner of any person making application.
Such petitions, as far as conveniently may be, shall be tried in the order in which they stand in such list.
Trial of a Petition. XI. The following enactments shall be made with respect to the trial of election petitions under this Act: 1. The trial of every election petition shall be conducted before a puisne
judge of one of Her Majesty's Superior Courts of common law at Westminster or Dublin, according as the same shall have been presented to the court at Westminster or Dublin, to be selected
from a rota to be formed as herein-after mentioned. 2. The members of each of the Courts of Queen's Bench, Common
Pleas, and Exchequer in England and Ireland shall respectively, on or before the third day of Michaelmas term in every year, select, by a majority of votes, one of the puisne judges of such court, not being a nember of the House of Lords, to be placed on
the rota for the trial of election petitions during the ensuing year. 3. If in any case the members of ihe said court are equally divided
in their choice of a puisne judge to be placed on the rota, the chief justice of such court (including under that expression the Chief Baron of the Exchequer) shall have a second or casting
vote. 4. Any judge placed on the rota shall be re-eligible in the succeeding or
any subsequent year. 3. In the event of the death or the illness of any judge for the time
being on the rotn, or his inability to act for any reasonable cause, the court to which he belongs shall fill up the vacancy by placing
on the rota another puisne judge of the same court. 6. The judges for the time being on the rota shall, according to their
seniority, respectively try the election petitions standing for trial under this Act, unless they otherwise agree among themselves, in which case the trial of each election petition shall be taken in
manner provided by such agreement. 7. Where it appears to the judges on the rota, after due consideration
of the list of petitions under this Act for the time being at issue, that the trial of such election petitions will be inconveniently delayed unless an additional judge or judges be appointed to assist the judges on the rota, each of the said courts (that is to say,) the Court of Exchequer, the Court of Common Pleas, and the Court of Queen's Bench, in the order named, shall, on and according to the requisition of such judges on the rota, select, in manner hereinbefore provided, one of the puisne judges of the court to try election petitions for the ensuing year; and any judge so selected shall, during that year, be deemed to be on the rota for
the trial of election petitions. 8. Her Majesty may, iu manner heretofore in use, appoint an additional
puisne judge to each of the Courts of Queen's Bench, the Common
Pleas, and Exchequer in England : 9. Every election petition shall, except where it raises a question of law
for the determination of the court, as hereinafter mertioned, be tried by one of the judges herein-before in that behalf mentioned, herein-after referred to as the judge sitting in open court without
a jury. 10. Notice of the time and place at wbich an election petition will be
tried shall be given, not less than fourteen days before the day on
which the trial is held, in the prescribed manner. 11. The trial of an election petition in the case of a petition relating to
a borough election shall take place in the borough, and in the case of a petition relating to a county election in the county : Provided always, that if it shall appear to the court that special circumstances exist which render it desirable that the petition should be tried elsewhere than in the borough or county, it shall be lawful for the court to appoint such other place for the trial as shall appear most convenient: provided also, that in the case of a petition relating to any of the boroughs within the metropolitan district,