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whether Sir Sydney Waterlow is disqualified from sitting and voting as a member of this house, under the statute 22 Geo. III. C. 45;" and on receiving the report of this committee, which declared him disqualified, a new writ was issued for the county of Dumfries. Thus the very same question which might have been determined, upon petition, by an election judge, was adjudged by the house itself. The house is, in fact, bound to take notice of any legal disabilities affecting its members, and to issue writs in the room of members adjudged to be incapable of sitting. In Case of 1870, O'Donovan Rossa, a convict then in prison, and Rossa. sentenced to penal servitude for life, for felony under the Treason-Felony Act, had been returned as member for the county of Tipperary. The house took action, and ordered the issue of a new writ.
The case of John Mitchel, in 1875, further illustrates the Case of position of the house, in relation to elections, and the legal Mitchel. disqualifications of its members. John Mitchel had been returned for the county of Tipperary without a contest. No question could, therefore, arise as to the election or return, the sole matter for determination being the qualification of the member. It was notorious that he was an escaped convict, and had not completed the term of transportation to which he had been sentenced. The facts of the case were proved; and his legal disqualification was clearly established to the satisfaction of the house. A new writ was accordingly issued; and John Mitchel was again returned. But, on this occasion, there had been a contest; and the house therefore left the merits of the election and return to be determined under the Election Petitions Act. Mr. Moore, the other candidate, having given due notice of the disqualification, proved his claim to the seat, and the return was amended accordingly. On the 28th February, 1882, the house resolved that Michael Davitt, having been adjudged guilty of felony, and sentenced to penal servitude for fifteen years, 1 124 C. J. 12. 43. 82. 88.
* Under 9 Geo. IV. c. 32, s. 3; 9
Geo. IV. o. 54, s. 33. 3 125 C. J. 27; 199 H. D. 3 s. 122; 5 130 C. J. 49. 52, 239; 222 H. D. and see supra, p. 34, n. 3.
3 s. 493.
? 94 ib. 48: 103 ib. 102.
and being then imprisoned under such sentence, was in- Chapter
be received.4 Proceed- Where it has been determined that the sitting member Error in ings of house upon was not duly elected, and that some other candidate was an tion of elec.
duly elected, and ought to have been returned, the Clerk of see p. 639. tion trials. the Crown is ordered to attend, and amend the return, by
substituting the name of the duly elected candidate for the
a return, see
1 137 C. J. 77.
3 33 & 34 Vict. c. 23, s. 2. See 266 H. D. 3 s. 1842, and especially the speech of the attorney-general.
* 194 ib. 1185.
• No notice can be taken of a determination until reported to the house. On the 27th April, 1866, Mr. Mills, member for Northallerton, had been declared not duly elected; but no report had been made to the house, and the division on the second reading of the Reform Bill was expected the same evening. As every vote was important, the question was canvassed whether Mr. Mills
could vote. It was admitted that
6 Tipperary Election, 27th March,
? 97 ib. 203; 124 ib. 173; Montgomery Election, 1848, 103 ib. 218; Dumbartonshire Election, 1866, 121 ib. 156; South Northumberland Election, 1878, 133 ib. 333; Saint Andrew's District of Burghs Election, 1885, 141 ib. 46.
Chapter Hon. John Young was duly elected: but it appearing that
since his election he had been appointed a judge of the
Where there have been special reports concerning bribery,: Special
were required by law or usage, or as appeared suitable to The shortthe occasion. It has been usual, in such cases, to order a writer's copy of the judgment delivered by the judge, and the
si see, minutes of evidence, to be laid before the house. p. 655, n. 2. The penalties inflicted for corrupt practices at elections Penalties
for corrupt may have the following effect upon the composition of the practices. House of Commons. “A person may, at an election, be disqualified for being elected by reason of corrupt practices committed at an election previous thereto. So also a person not disqualified before an election may, during the election, become disqualified by reason of corrupt practices being committed at such election: but the latter disqualification can only arise ex post facto upon an investigation into such election. This disqualification always existed at common law," and the statutory provisions to which reference will be made are“ intended only to give fuller effect to the common law of Parliament."]1 Under sec. 4 of the Corrupt and Illegal
Practices Prevention Act, 1883, a candidate for parliaReports mentary election who is reported by an election court as from election courts personally guilty of corrupt practices, is incapacitated, to the Speaker, see p. 655. 1 129 O. J. 187. 195.
o 114 ib. 330. 350 ; 115 ib, 167. : Peterborough, 1853, 108 ib. 826. 115 ib. 94. 167, &c.
3 Drogheda petition, 1857, 112 ib. 893 ib. 275; 97 ib. 198; 98 ib. 383; Limerick city petition, 1859, 133; 103 ib. 511. 965. 114 ib. 338.
9 Beverley case, 1859, 114 ib 359. * Helston Election, 1866, 121 ib. 20 112 ib. 292, 295. 369, 385: 114 436.
ib. 369; 121 ib. 288. s Mayo petition, 1857, 112 ib. 307; 11 Rogers on Elections, part ii. Galway County Election, 1872, 127 17th ed. (revised 1900), p. 32. ib. 258.
Extensive corrupt practices.
during seven years from the date of the report, from being Chapter
By the Corrupt Practices Act, 1863, election committees
When general and notorious bribery and corruption have been proved to prevail in parliamentary boroughs, the house has suspended the issue of writs, with a view to further
i Rogers on Elections, part ii. 17th ed. (revised 1900), p. 33. For the proofs of agency in election inquiries and its results, see ib. pp. 152. 360.
2 Liverpool, 1831, 86 O. J. 458. 493; Warwick, 1833, 88 ib. 611; 89 ib. 9. 579; Carrickfergus, 1833, 88 ib. 531. 599; Hertford, 1833, ib. 578. 649. In the three last cases, the writs were suspended until the dis.
solution in Dec. 1834. Meanwhile bills of disfranchisement, or for preventing bribery in these boroughs, were pending. Stafford, 1835; writ suspended until 1837, until there was no prospect of passing a disfranchisement bill; see debate, 13th Feb, 1837, on issue of writ, 90 ib. 262; 91 ib. 792. Sudbury; writ suspended from 14th April, 1842, till 1st Aug. 1843, 97 ib. 188. 467, &c.;
Chapter inquiry, and proceedings for the ultimate disfranchisement 1. of the corrupt constituencies by Act of Parliament. An effectual mode of investigating corrupt practices at Commis.
o sions of elections was also established by 15 & 16 Vict. c. 57, ingu which provided for the appointment of a royal commission of inquiry, upon a joint address of both houses of Parliament, or in consequence of a report from the election judges.2 Addresses were agreed to in the cases of Canterbury, Cambridge, Maldon, Barnstaple, Kingston-upon-Hull, and Tynemouth, in 1853; Galway, in 1857; Gloucester and Wakefield, in 1859 ; Lancaster, Great Yarmouth, Reigate, and Totnes, in 1866 ; Beverley, Bridgwater, Cashel, Sligo, Dublin, and Norwich, in 1869; Norwich and Boston, in 1874 ; Boston, Canterbury, Chester, Gloucester, Knares. borough, Macclesfield, Oxford, and Sandwich, in 1880; and Worcester, in 1906; and in 1869, commissioners were appointed, by statute, to inquire into corrupt practices reported, by an election judge, to have been committed by the freemen of Dublin.
In pursuance of the reports of election commissioners, Bills by the Reform Act of 1867, the four corrupt boroughs of reports of
founded on Lancaster, Great Yarmouth, Reigate, and Totnes were commis
Disfranchisement Act, 7 & 8 Vict.c. 53. Ipswich, 1842; writ suspended from 25th April until 1st Aug. 1842, 97 C. J. 221. 554. Yarmouth, 1848; writ suspended from 14th Feb. until 30th June, 103 ib. 213; freemen disfranchised by 11 & 12 Vict. c. 24. Harwich, 1848, 103 ib. 330. 702. In 1851, an Act was passed for inquiring into bribery at St. Albans, 14 & 15 Vict. c. 106; and the borough was disfranchised by 15 & 16 Vict. c. 9. Barnstaple; writ suspended from 22nd April, 1853, until 11th Aug 1854. Cambridge; writ suspended from 3rd March, 1853, until 11th Aug. 1854. Canterbury; writ sus. pended from 22nd Feb. 1853, until 11th Aug. 1854. Wakefield and Gloucester; writs suspended from July, 1859, until 20th Feb. 1862. See 156 H. D. 3 s. 771; 157 ib. 1637;
161 ib. 247; 163 ib. 1070, &c. Norwich; writ suspended in 1875, 130 C. J. 247; Act passed in 1876, forbidding any election during the Parliament, 39 & 40 Vict. c. 72. Wigan Election, 1880; writ suspended until Nov. 1881. On several other occasions, writs have been suspended for shorter periods until the printing of evidence; e.g. Nottingham, 1843 ; Harwich, 1848; and Clitheroe, 1853.
Copies of disfranchisement bills are served upon the returning officer before the second reading, 99 C. J. 443 ; 103 ib. 366. Lancaster, Great Yarmouth, Reigate, and Totnes, 1866; Bridgwater and Beverley, Sligo and Cashel, 1870; Norwich and Boston, 1876, 131 ib. 325.
: See Rogers on Elections, part ii. 17th ed. (revised 1900), p. 251.