Corrupt Practices Prevention Act 1854

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1854 c. 102
Year1854
Anno Regni VICTORI, Britanniarum Regin,Decimo Septimo & Decimo Octavo. An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws relating to Bribery, Treating, and undue Influence at Elections of Members of Parliament.

(17 & 18 Vict.) C A P. CII.

[10th August 1854]

'WHEREAS the Laws now in force for preventing corrupt Practices in the Election of Members to serve in Parliament have been found insufficient: And whereas it is expedient to consolidate and amend such Laws, and to make further Provision for securing the Freedom of such Elections:' Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows:

S-I Repeal of Acts in the Schedule.

I Repeal of Acts in the Schedule.

I. The several Acts of Parliament mentioned in the Schedule A. hereto annexed shall be repealed to the Extent specified concerning the same Acts respectively in the Third Column of the said Schedule.

S-II Bribery defined.

II Bribery defined.

II. The following Persons shall be deemed guilty of Bribery, and shall be punishable accordingly:

S-1

1. Every Person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other Person on his Behalf, give, lend, or agree to give or lend, or shall offer, promise, or promise to procure or to endeavour to procure, any Money, or valuable Consideration, to or for any Voter, or to or for any Person on behalf of any Voter, or to or for any other Person in order to induce any Voter to vote, or refrain from voting, or shall corruptly do any such Act as aforesaid, on account of such Voter having voted or refrained from voting at any Election:

S-2

2. Every Person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other Person on his Behalf, give or procure, or agree to give or procure, or offer, promise, or promise to procure or to endeavour to procure, any Office, Place, or Employment to or for any Voter, or to or for any Person on behalf of any Voter, or to or for any other Person, in order to induce such Voter to vote, or refrain from voting, or shall corruptly do any such Act as aforesaid, on account of any Voter having voted or refrained from voting at any Election:

S-3

3. Every Person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other Person on his Behalf, make any such Gift, Loan, Offer, Promise, Procurement, or Agreement as aforesaid, to or for any Person, in order to induce such Person to procure, or endeavour to procure, the Return of any Person to serve in Parliament, or the Vote of any Voter at any Election:

S-4

4. Every Person who shall, upon or in consequence of any such Gift, Loan, Offer, Promise, Procurement, or Agreement, procure or engage, promise, or endeavour to procure the Return of any Person to serve in Parliament, or the Vote of any Voter at any Election:

S-5

5. Every Person who shall advance or pay, or cause to be paid, any Money to or to the Use of any other Person with the Intent that such Money or any Part thereof shall be expended in Bribery at any Election, or who shall knowingly pay or cause to be paid any Money to any Person in Discharge or Repayment of any Money wholly or in part expended in Bribery at any Election:

And any Person so offending shall be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and inScotland of an Offence punishable by Fine and Imprisonment, and shall also be liable to forfeit the Sum of One hundred Pounds to any Person who shall sue for the same, together with full Costs of Suit: Provided always, that the aforesaid Enactment shall not extend or be construed to extend to any Money paid or agreed to be paid for or on account of any legal Expenses bon fide incurred at or concerning any Election.

S-III Bribery further defined.

III Bribery further defined.

III. The following Persons shall also be deemed guilty of Bribery, and shall be punishable accordingly:

S-1

1. Every Voter who shall, before or during any Election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other Person on his Behalf, receive, agree, or contract for any Money, Gift, Loan, or valuable Consideration, Office, Place, or Employment, for himself or for any other Person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting, at any Election:

S-2

2. Every Person who shall, after any Election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other Person on his Behalf, receive any Money or valuable Consideration on account of any Person having voted or refrained from voting, or having induced any other Person to vote or to refrain from voting, at any Election:

And any Person so offending shall be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and inScotland of an Offence punishable by Fine and Imprisonment, and shall also be liable to forfeit the Sum of Ten Pounds to any Person who shall sue for the same, together with full Costs of Suit.

S-IV Treating defined.

IV Treating defined.

IV. Every Candidate at an Election, who shall corruptly by himself, or by or with any Person, or by any other Ways or Means on his Behalf, at any Time, either before, during, or after any Election, directly or indirectly give or provide, or cause to be given or provided, or shall be accessory to the giving or providing, or shall pay, wholly or in part, any Expenses incurred for any Meat, Drink, Entertainment, or Provision to or for any Person, in order to be elected, or for being elected, or for the Purpose of corruptly influencing such Person or any other Person to give or refrain from giving his Vote at such Election, or on account of such Person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting, at such Election, shall be deemed guilty of the Offence of Treating, and shall forfeit the sum of Fifty Pounds to any Person who shall sue for the same, with full Costs of Suit; and every Voter who shall corruptly accept or take any such Meat, Drink, Entertainment, or Provision, shall be incapable of voting at such Election, and his Vote, if given, shall be utterly void and of none effect.

S-V Undue Influence defined.

V Undue Influence defined.

V. Every Person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other Person on his Behalf, make use of, or threaten to make use of, any Force, Violence, or Restraint, or inflict or threaten the Infliction, by himself or by or through any other Person, of any Injury, Damage, Harm, or Loss, or in any other Manner practise Intimidation upon or against any Person in order to induce or compel such Person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of such Person having voted or refrained from voting, at any Election, or who shall by Abduction, Duress, or any fraudulent Device or Contrivance, impede, prevent, or otherwise interfere with the free Exercise of the Franchise of any Voter, or shall thereby compel, induce, or prevail upon any Voter, either to give or to refrain from giving his Vote at any Election, shall be deemed to have committed the Offence of undue Influence, and shall be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and inScotland of an Offence punishable by Fine or Imprisonment, and shall also be liable to forfeit the Sum of Fifty Pounds to any Person who shall sue for the same, together with full Costs of Suit.

S-VI Names of Offenders to be struck out of Register, and inserted in separate List.

VI Names of Offenders to be struck out of Register, and inserted in separate List.

VI. Whenever it shall be proved before the Revising Barrister that any Person who is or claims to be placed on the List or Register of Voters for any County, City, or Borough has been convicted of Bribery or undue Influence at an Election, or that Judgment has been obtained against any such Person for any penal Sum hereby made recoverable in respect of the Offences of Bribery, Treating, or undue Influence, or either of them, then and in that Case such Revising Barrister shall, in case the Name of such Person is in the List of Voters, expunge the same therefrom, or shall, in case such Person is claiming to have his Name inserted therein, disallow such Claim; and the Names of all Persons whose Names shall be so expunged from the List of Voters, and whose Claims shall be so disallowed, shall be thereupon inserted in a separate List, to be entitled ‘The List of Persons disqualified for Bribery, Treating, or undue Influence,’ which last-mentioned List shall be appended to the List or Register of Voters, and shall be printed and published therewith, wherever the same shall be or is required to be printed or published.

S-VII No Cockades, &c. to be given at Elections.

VII No Cockades, &c. to be given at Elections.

VII. No Candidate before, during, or after any Election shall in regard to such Election, by himself or Agent, directly or indirectly, give or provide to or for any Person having a Vote at such Election, or to or for any Inhabitant of the County, City, Borough, or Place for which such Election is had, any Cockade, Ribbon, or other Mark of Distinction; and every Person so giving or providing shall for every such Offenceforfeit the Sum of Two Pounds to such Person as shall sue for the same, together with full Costs of Suit; and all Payments made for or on account of any Chairing, or any such Cockade, Ribbon, or Mark of Distinction as aforesaid, or of any Bands of Music or Flags or Banners, shall be deemed illegal Payments within this Act.

S-VIII Voters not to serve as Special Constables during Elections.

VIII Voters not to serve as Special Constables during Elections.

VIII. No Person having a Right to vote at the Election for any County, City, Borough, or other Place shall be liable or compelled to serve as a Special Constable at or during any Election for a Member or Members to serve in Parliament for such County, City, Borough, or other Place, unless he shall consent so to act; and he shall not be liable to any Fine, Penalty, or Punishment whatever for refusing so to act, any Statute, Law, or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

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