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Election Petitions

Volume 90: debated on Thursday 7 March 1901

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I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General whether his attention has been drawn to the misuse of the Election Petition Courts by persons, lawyers, and laymen, who to their own pecuniary advantage employ themselves in making serious but fictitious charges against Members of this House with impunity; and whether the law has any penalties for such conduct.

The procedure in the Election Petition Courts is no doubt capable of being abused, but I am not aware that this has been done for the sake of any pecuniary advantage. There is great difficulty in entirely obviating the danger of abuse without throwing obstacles in the way of recourse to the Courts in proper cases. I may refer my lion, friend to the Report of the recent Committee on Election Petitions in 1898.

Has the lion, and learned Gentleman considered the judgment of the judges in. the Cocker-mouth petition?