Political Parties and Elections Bill
Mr. Wills: Amendment No. 85 would require the Secretary of State, having consulted with the Electoral Commission, to specify in an order the type of discretionary requirements that may be imposed by the commission under part 2 of proposed new schedule 19B. The discretionary requirements are set out in paragraph 5(5) of the schedule and they are
(a) a requirement to pay a monetary penalty to the Commission of such amount as the Commission may determine,
(b) a requirement to take such steps as the Commission may specify, within such period as they may specify, to secure that the offence or contravention does not continue or recur, or
(c) a requirement to take such steps as the Commission may specify, within such period as they may specify, to secure that the position is, so far as possible, restored to what it would have been if the offence or contravention had not happened.
The size of a monetary penalty or the type of steps that are needed will, inevitably, depend on the nature and scale of the offence committed. The clause necessarily leaves the decision about the precise nature of a penalty or the steps to be taken in each case to the commission. That is sensible, as it would be impossible to try to anticipate every step or penalty that the commission may wish to impose. Trying to draft an exhaustive list of what the commission may or may not do in different circumstances risks omitting things that subsequent cases will demonstrate should have been available.
The penalty or steps contained in any notice must be set out precisely when the requirement is imposed. If not, or if the steps are uncertain, the requirement will be susceptible to appealfor example, on the ground that it is unreasonable.
It being twenty-five minutes past Ten oclock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
Adjourned till this day at One oclock.
|©Parliamentary copyright 2008||Prepared 14 November 2008|