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Undue spiritual influence and the permissible interaction of religion and politics

Undue spiritual influence and the permissible interaction of religion and politics
Undue spiritual influence and the permissible interaction of religion and politics
The overturning of the election of Lutfur Rahman as Mayor of Tower Hamlets brought to the fore a perhaps generally forgotten element of election law, undue spiritual influence, which previously could have been forgivably seen as a historical curiosity. Whilst the offence has been incorporated into each new version of election legislation, most recently in the Representation of the People Act 1983, it has not been updated to reflect modern commitments to freedom of religion and expression. The offence remains in the same form as in the Corrupt Practices Act 1883 and this was based on common law and the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act 1854. Consequently, it has recently been reconsidered by the Law Commission and by Sir Eric Pickles, as part of his report into electoral fraud. Drawing a line between acceptable expressions of opinions by religious figures and impermissible pressure on religious adherents is a complex matter, which raises difficult questions about the appropriate interaction between religion and politics.
0033-3565
Pearson, Megan
fc57169e-5c44-405a-9d80-806ade39c1f2
Pearson, Megan
fc57169e-5c44-405a-9d80-806ade39c1f2

Pearson, Megan (2017) Undue spiritual influence and the permissible interaction of religion and politics. Public Law.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The overturning of the election of Lutfur Rahman as Mayor of Tower Hamlets brought to the fore a perhaps generally forgotten element of election law, undue spiritual influence, which previously could have been forgivably seen as a historical curiosity. Whilst the offence has been incorporated into each new version of election legislation, most recently in the Representation of the People Act 1983, it has not been updated to reflect modern commitments to freedom of religion and expression. The offence remains in the same form as in the Corrupt Practices Act 1883 and this was based on common law and the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act 1854. Consequently, it has recently been reconsidered by the Law Commission and by Sir Eric Pickles, as part of his report into electoral fraud. Drawing a line between acceptable expressions of opinions by religious figures and impermissible pressure on religious adherents is a complex matter, which raises difficult questions about the appropriate interaction between religion and politics.

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Published date: 1 October 2017
Organisations: Law C

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411738
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411738
ISSN: 0033-3565
PURE UUID: a210e5d2-d08d-431e-8e26-d213a588d24c

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Date deposited: 23 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 01 Aug 2020 04:01

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