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Mr Justice Supperstone has handed down judgment today in this claim for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to authorise pilot schemes to test voter identification requirements in the forthcoming local government elections on 2 May 2019.

The Claimant, Mr Coughlan resides in Braintree which is one of the affected authorities. He argued that the pilot schemes were ultra vires s.10 of the Representation of the People Act 2000. In particular, he submitted that the pilot schemes did not relate to “when, where and how voting at the elections is to take place” within the meaning of s.10(2)(a). Further, the purpose of the provision, he argued, was to pilot measures which facilitate voting or make voting easier and schemes which would make voting more difficult fell outside the scope of the power. Granting permission to apply for judicial review but dismissing the claim, the Court held that the pilot schemes fell within the meaning of s.10(2)(a) and that s.10 permitted the Minister to authorise pilot schemes for a wider range of purposes. 

Michael Fordham QC and Natasha Simonsen appeared for the Claimant.

Hanif Mussa appeared for the Minister.

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