Kennedy v Alexander

Judgment Date08 November 1880
Docket NumberNo. 1.
Date08 November 1880
CourtCourt of Session
Court of Session
Registration Appeal Court

Lord Mure, Lord Gifford, Ld. Craighill.

No. 1.

County Franchise—Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 1832, sec. 9, and schedule G—Representation of the People Act, 1868, sec. 6—Tenant and Occupant—Entry in Register—Necessity for statement of occupancy on the Roll.—

Held that ‘tenant’ is a sufficient entry in the qualification column of the register of voters, without the addition of the words ‘and occupant,’ even in cases where ‘actual personal occupancy’ is essential to the qualification.

John Alexander objected to Angus Kennedy, who appeared on the roll of voters for 1879 as ‘Angus Kennedy, farmer, joint tenant, farm, Achslair,’ being continued on the roll of voters for Argyllshire, in respect that the qualification set forth in the electoral register was insufficient under the Act of 1868.* The rental of the farm was £71, and there were three joint tenants. The lease was under fifty-seven years.

The Sheriff (Forbes Irvine) sustained the objection, and expunged Kennedy's name from the roll.

Kennedy took a case.

The facts as stated in the case were,—‘The assessor, in correcting the register, had added the words “and occupant” to the qualification without a new claim or notice on the church doors. The original entry was objected to, and also the addition made, as ultra vires of the assessor. I was asked to add the words “and occupant,” but I declined to do so, in respect it appears to me to be a change of qualification, and beyond the powers conferred on me by the 44th section of the County Voters Act.’

The questions of law for the decision of the Court of Appeal were (1)

‘Was the original entry in the electoral register sufficient? (2) Had the assessor the power to make the addition above mentioned? And (3) Had the Sheriff the power to do so?’

Argued for the appellant (Ques. 1);—The original entry on the roll was sufficient without the addition of the words ‘and occupant.’ No change in the form of the schedule G, No. 1, according to which the register was made up under the Act of 1832, had been made by the Act of 1868. By that schedule ‘tenant’ was all the entry required on the roll, and yet in certain cases ‘actual personal occupancy’ was required under that Act to entitle the tenant to be put upon the roll as much as it is required by sec. 6 of the Act of 1868. There being no change introduced by the Act of 1868, the words ‘and occupant’ were superfluous. If the first question was answered in the affirmative it was unnecessary for the Court to answer the second and third, as in that case the alteration complained of was unnecessary.


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