Election Law

In the run up to the General Election on 8 June 2017, and the local elections across England, Wales and Scotland on 4 May 2017, Doughty Street Chambers will be publishing a regular “Election and the Law Update”, with information and analysis on emerging legal issues concerning the upcoming elections. 

The Update will include issues such as:

  • The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 (the Lobbying Act), and its application during a short election (the first fines under the Act, including against Greenpeace, having been reported);
  • The impact of the snap general election announcement upon MPs currently under investigation;
  • The legal ramifications of the general election upon the current political impasse in Northern Ireland;
  • Campaign finance rules, including how they apply to material which combines campaigning on the local and general elections;
  • Party political broadcasting, balance and fair access;
  • Political campaigning and privacy, including the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Privacy and Electronic Communication (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR);
  • Complaints about election conduct and election petitions under the Representation of the People Act 1983;
  • Election publicity, libel and fair electioneering;
  • Postal and proxy voting, and voter registration;
  • The human rights implications of the forthcoming manifestos; and
  • The implications of the manifestos for the Brexit negotiations, including the particular impact upon the devolved administrations and Gibraltar.   

Doughty Street members have expertise in the law related to the running of campaigns and elections and experience acting for political parties, media outlets and broadcasters, public authorities, charities and others on a range of issues.  They have acted in many of the leading election law cases, including Foster v McNicol [2016] EWHC 1966 (QB) (acting for the successful parties in this challenge to the leadership selection processes of the Labour Party) and in the 2006 Tower Hamlets election petitions concerning alleged impropriety in the conduct of local elections.  Members act for all political parties, for individuals and for businesses and NGOs.

Doughty Street members also have substantial experience in parliamentary legal issues and advising on policy-making and legislative proposals, within the UK, at European level and in other jurisdictions worldwide.

To receive the Doughty Street Chambers Elections and the Law Update, contact elections@doughtystreet.co.uk.  If you wish to discuss a particular legal issue regarding the elections with a member of Chambers, please contact us and we will be happy to help.  


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