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LAW OF ELECTIONS,
BY WILLIAM THOMAS ROE, Esq.
OF LINCOLN'S INN, BARRISTER-AT-LAW.
IN TWO VOLUMES
P R E F A C E
The object of the following Treatise is to arrange, into a practical form, the Law of Elections for the Parliament of the United Kingdom
This subject, as affecting England, Scotland, and Ireland, is not collectively touched upon, in
any of the works which have hitherto appeared.
It is true that the law regarding those different elections, in some points, so essentially varies, as almost to want any relative connection; in others, however, the affinity is such, as to render decisions, unđer either, productive of principles and analogies for each.
The union with Ireland has, in the trial of controverted elections, introduced questions entirely new. And, indeed, upon another branch, that of the eligibility and disqualifications of members, the previous law of Great Britain is not to be received without attention to the statute 41 Geo. 3, c. 52, which passed upon the occasion of the Irish union. The act alluded to seems to have mutualized the statutory disqualifications of either country.
It is to be observed likewise, that the several elections are alike the subject of the jurisdiction of the house of commons and of select com. mittees; and, therefore, also, it is more than a matter of convenience, that the law should be contemplated under the same view. This was one consideration which induced the undertaking.
The arrangement which I have pursued is this: Touching shortly, in the first instance, upon the convening, holding, and dissolving parliament, and the matter therewith connected; I proceed to consider the landed qualification requisite, eligibility for the house of commons, and the several disqualifications of members ; as well as the effect of choosing incapacitated persons. The next part treats of undue interference at elections; and of the election proceedings from the issuing the writ to the return. The third part comprizes the proceed. ings upon trials of controverted elections. The fourth, the qualifications and disqualifications of electors. The fifth, and last, the law of bribery and treating, (except as to the consequent disqualification for parliament, which falls within the contents of a former part.)
In each chapter, the law is first given as applicable to elections in England ; that which appertains to Scotland and Ireland is subjoined in separate sections : in this, however, the intention has been, not to do more than point out the peculiarities of each, as differing from the corresponding matter which immediately precedes.
With respect to the statute law, the several