evidence to the Justice Select Committee on the constitutional process following a General Election. He asked the committee to consider a draft document setting out election rules and processes - see Chapter 6 "Elections and Government formation". It would appear that this draft document has not been subjected to extensive consultation (e.g. with constitutional law experts or, for that matter, with the general, public) and it is hardly surprising that some are questioning the advice which it gives in relation to a "hung parliament". Particularly trenchant criticism may be seen via the website of "Democratic Audit". Some serious questions are raised which the reader will need to assess. Further material may be accessed at UCL. See also Justice Select Committee 5th report of session 2009-10- "Constitutional processes following a general election".
A further topic of some interest relates to electoral law. This subject has an extensive history. Electoral law is (basically) aimed at ensuring that elections are free and fair. They have not always been (see Great Reform Act 1832) and there have been some concerns raised over the increase, since 2001, in the use of postal voting. The Representation of the People Act 1983 contains a number of "electoral offences": bribery; treating and undue influence. Instances of these offences have been thankfully rare in recent times. Interestingly, even when they occur, it would seem that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will consider a number of factors before actually instituting a prosecution. The 1983 (Part III) also contains a process by which an election may be challenged by way of a parliamentary election petition in the High Court.
The right to vote is a precious thing which we must be vigilant to protect- see Telegraph 17th March 2010.