The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the appeal by Mr. Coughlan in a case concerning the piloting of voter identification requirements at the local government elections in May 2019.
The pilot schemes approved by the Minister for the Cabinet Office were found to have been within the scope of section 10(2)(a) of the Representation of the People Act 2000 since, on the true construction of that provision, they related to “how” voting at the elections was to take place. The schemes were also authorised for a lawful purpose under section 10(1) since the permissible purposes for which a scheme could be authorised were not confined to facilitating or encouraging voting.
Tony Peto QC and Natasha Simonsen appeared for the Appellant, Mr. Coughlan
Hanif Mussa QC appeared for the Respondent, the Minister for the Cabinet Office
Gayatri Sarathy made written submissions for Operation Black Vote, Runnymede Trust and Voice4Change England as interveners
Timothy Otty QC and George Molyneaux made written submissions for LGBT Foundation and Stonewall as interveners