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Committee considers urgent recommendations to update and consolidate electoral law

1 July 2019

Amidst speculation of a potential early general election, PACAC takes evidence from the Law Commission on its 2016 report which found that UK electoral law is “complex, voluminous and fragmented” and in need of urgent reform.


Many of the core elements of the law regulating election campaigns in parliamentary constituencies and local authority wards have not been updated since the nineteenth century, and recent prosecutions and investigations have demonstrated that even many experts are confused about how the law should be applied in practice to modern election campaigns.

In 2016, the non-political Law Commission published a comprehensive set of recommendations for simplifying and updating electoral law, but the Government has not yet implemented them.

Purpose of the session

In this session the Committee will ask the Law Commissioner about what risks exist in the current legal framework, the most urgent reforms and accountability for election campaigning.

In the second panel, the Committee will take evidence from the Chief Executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators and the Spokesperson for Elections and Democratic Renewal at Solace.

The Committee will question the panel on the risks and benefits of voting methods such as postal voting. Questions will also focus on public confidence in elections and fraud in elections.


Tuesday 2 July 2019, The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

Panel One – approx. 10.00am

  • Nicholas Paines QC, Commissioner for public law, The Law Commission
  • Henni Ouahes, Lawyer, Public Law Team, The Law Commission

Panel Two – approx. 11am

  • Peter Stanyon, Association of Electoral Administrators
  • Louise Round, Solace Spokesperson for Elections and Democratic Renewal

Further information

Image: PA/Alan Simpson