Electoral Law

Status: Having completed the scoping phase on 11 December 2012, we have commenced work on reforming electoral law.  We opened a consultation in December 2014.  We plan to publish a report with recommendations to Government in summer 2015

Electoral law in the UK has grown complex, voluminous, and fragmented, with many statutes and secondary legislation governing a long list of elections and referendums.  The twin aims of the project are to ensure, first, that electoral laws are presented within a rational, modern legislative framework, governing all elections and referendums under statute; and second, that the law governing the conduct of elections and referendums is modern, simple, and fit for purpose.

The project history

This project is split into three phases, with review points between phases. The first phase, a scoping exercise including a consultation which ended on 17 September 2012, was completed with the publication of our scoping report on 11 December 2012.

The second phase involves formulating law reform proposals.  Owing to the UK wide nature of electoral law, this phase is being conducted jointly with the Scottish Law Commission and the Northern Ireland Commission.

Next steps

We produced a detailed consultation paper in December 2014, and plan to finalise our substantive law reform recommendations in the summer of 2015.  There would then be a further review point.  If the Commissions and Government decide to continue with the project, we aim to publish a final report and bill in early 2017.