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Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

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49Authorised excuses for failures as respects return and declarations.N.I.

(1)The High Court, an election court or the county court may on the application of a candidate or his election agent grant relief in accordance with this section.

[F1(1A)Where a person makes an application under this section in respect of the return and declaration as to election expenses at a local election, he shall notify the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland of the application and the Director or his assistant or any barrister or solicitor duly appointed as the Director's representative may attend the hearing of the application and make representations at the hearing in respect of it.]

(2)Relief under this section may be granted—

(a)to a candidate, in respect of any failure to transmit the return and declarations as to election expenses, or any part of them, or in respect of any error or false statement therein; or

(b)to an election agent, in respect of the failure to transmit the return and declarations that he is required to transmit or any part of them or in respect of any error or false statement therein.

[F1At a local election this subsection shall have effect as if for the word transmit, in each place where it occurs, there were substituted deliver.]

(3)The application for relief may be made on the ground that the failure, error or false statement arose—

(a)by reason of the illness of the applicant; or

(b)where the applicant is the candidate, by reason of the absence, death, illness or misconduct of his election agent or sub-agent or of any clerk or officer of such agent; or

(c)where the applicant is the election agent, by reason of the death or illness of any prior election agent of the candidate, or of the absence, death, illness or misconduct of any sub-agent, clerk or officer of any election agent of the candidate; or

(d)by reason of inadvertence or any reasonable cause of a like nature;

and not by reason of any want of good faith on the part of the applicant.

(4)The court may, after such notice of the application in the constituency and on production of such evidence of the grounds stated in the application and of the good faith of the application and otherwise as to the court seems fit, make such order for allowing an authorised excuse for the failure, error or false statement as to the court seems just.

(5)Where it is proved to the court by the candidate that any act or omission of the election agent in relation to the return and declarations was without the sanction or connivance of the candidate, and that the candidate used all reasonable means for preventing the act or omission, the court shall relieve the candidate from the consequences of the act or omission of his election agent.

(6)An order under sub-section (4) may make the allowance conditional on the making of the return and declaration in a modified form or within an extended time, and upon the compliance with such other terms as to the court seem best calculated for carrying into effect the objects of this Part.

(7)An order under sub-section (4) shall relieve the applicant for the order from any liability or consequences under this Act in respect of the matter excused by the order.

(8)The date of the order, or if conditions and terms are to be complied with, the date at which the applicant fully complies with them, is referred to in this Act as the date of the allowance of the excuse.

(9)The jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by this section may, subject to rules of court, be exercised by a judge sitting either in court or at chambers.

(10)An appeal shall lie to the High Court from any order of a county court made by virtue of this section.

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F1SI 1987/168

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