The MPs Recall Act of 2015

The document includes an explanation of the key clauses of the MPs Recall Act of 2015 as they pertain to the liability to recall, recall petitions, and the effects of the recall, as well as the application of the clauses to a number of hypothetical situations. Notably, an explanation of the Act's pertinent consequences in the relevant circumstances is provided, with specific references to the applicable legal provisions.

The Background of the Act

The recall of members of parliament Act 2015 is an Act of the United Kingdom parliament. The bill was presented in the house in September 2014 and received royal assent in 2015. The power of the recall agreement was formulated by the coalition government of the United Kingdom and seen as a move to give power to the people to make the choice of their leaders through the ballot and keep the members of parliament in check. As a result of the event that the members of parliament go against the provisions of the Act, they risk losing their seat and giving the electorate a chance to vote for a new person in the office. The bill was designed to redress a mechanism through which members of parliament can be recalled and the National Union of Students, and 38 degrees were some of the pressure groups that supported the establishment if the act and its subsequent signing into law. The recall is a process that is followed to ensure that the members of parliament are successfully ejected out of office, but the Act was feared to deter the members of parliament form making decisions that might not have short-term pros or unpopular to the people but in the long run benefit the electorate. Remarkably, singing of the bill into law has the effect of increasing the public confidence in politics and boosting responsibility among the elected leaders who have to serve the electorate without fear or favor.

The Process of Recalling a Member of Parliament

The recall of members of parliament act of 2015 made it available a process that an elected leader can lose his or her seat in the crucial House of Commons if there is a thriving petition to recall them. Importantly, there are specific guidelines that set out in the Act to provide the conditions under which a recall petition can be triggered and the steps for carrying out the appeal. There are set rules by the act to govern the people who rally for or against the petition to tame ill motives of ejecting a sitting member of parliament (Horne, Alex, and Gavin Drewry 14). Upon successful appeal of particular Member of Parliament the petition officer opens the recall petition after the House of Commons speaker notifies the house that a specific member of the house has conducted either of the following offenses. Firstly, if the Member of Parliament has been convicted of a misdemeanor or has received a custodial sentence or jailed and not in any mental health legislation, chances of recall petition emerge. Secondly, the recall petition can begin if the Member of Parliament has been barred from the house of House of Commons for more than ten days of sitting or two weeks (Horne, Alex, and Gavin Drewry 19). Finally, the petition to recall can kick off if the affected Member of Parliament has been remanded for providing misleading or false information for allowance claims as provided for in the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. However, in the case of conviction, the recall petition is not opened unless the expiry of the appeal period without the overturning of the order, sentence, or conviction or subsequent hearing and dismissal of the request. Six weeks is the time given for signing of a recall petition after it has been opened and at least ten percent of the electorate in the affected constituency must sign the petition, after which the Members of Parliament loses his seat triggering a by-election. Notably, the recalled Member of Parliament has the right to stand as a candidate in the subsequent by-election. However, the recall petition fails to materialize in case the United Kingdom Parliamentary general election is due in the next six months or the event that the seat of the Member of Parliament had already been declared vacant. Also, the petition is terminated if the position of the Member of Parliament is declared vacant for any other reason such as resignation or when the sentence of imprisonment of the Member of Parliament is overturned.

The Roles of the Electoral Commission and the Petition Office

The role of the electoral commission as provided by the Act is to provide guidance and advice so that people can understand the rules and to monitor the impermissible donations in addition to publishing reports on issues relating with the petition and the rules and guidelines if the campaign donations and spending (Jack, Malcolm, and Mark Hutton 18). The Act tasks the petition office to open the recall petition and notify the electors. Also, the officer is obliged to supervise the administration of the petition, declare the results of the petition and notify the Speaker of the Common House. Additionally, the office of petitions has the role of receiving the spending and the donation returns and makes the public for inspection. Remarkably, the returning officer and a petition’s officers are the same people. The work of the police during the petition is to enforce compliance with the law and to investigate any breaches of the law.

Case Scenarios

Case Scenario 1: Nick Knack

In the first case scenario where Nick Knack was elected but was convicted on corruption charges, the recall petition will not be commenced. According to the provisions of the Act sections 1(a), the first recall condition is that the Member of Parliament must be convicted in the United Kingdom or detained within the meaning stipulated in section 1(3) of the act (Litvak, David 14). The referenced case scenario, Nick Knack has been convicted, but he has not been sentenced Therefore, the recall petition of the Member of Parliament cannot take place unless until the sentencing has been done. In the course of the court proceedings, the court can drop the charges leveled against the accused and thus the recall petition cannot be justified (Harrison, Kevin, and Tony Boyd 10). Therefore, in the case, the petitioner must wait for the elapse of the two weeks before wen sentencing will be done since there are provisions in the constitution that prompts an accused leader to step aside to allow investigations to be carried out.

Case Scenario 2: Jean Dean

In the second case, Jean Dean went against the code of conduct of the House of Common after attending the House in a severe state of intoxication and the standards committee tables a report to suspend her. The fate of the Member of Parliament lies in the adoption of the report and the number of days she was to be suspended. According to the Act section 4, a member of the house is subject of a recall if the Committee of Standards about the Member of Parliament the House of Commons orders the suspension of the Member of Parliament from the services of the house for a period of the requisite length (Litvak, David16). The Act provides 14 calendar days or 10 sittings of the House of Commons (Litvak, David 17). Therefore, if the Member of Parliament is suspended for more than the requisite period irrespective of the start of the essential time, the process of recalling him or her begins.

Case Scenario 3: Anne Agram

In the third case, Anne Agram, an elected Member of Parliament was fined for falsifying and exaggerating her expenses under the statutory Members of Parliament allowances scheme. In this case, there is no a recall petition that can be commenced against her since she was not facing any possible jail term or any lengthy suspension from the house (Litvak, David 15). She will be forced to pay the fine and move on with her legislative work of representing her electorate. Unless she resigns or a petitioner successfully pursues a legal case against her that may lead to a possible jail term, she retains her seat as the Member of Parliament.

Case Scenario 4: James Smith

In the fourth case presented, James Smith was convicted of expenses fiddle, and a recall petition procedure was started. Since he was convicted of a crime he committed, James was liable to lose his seat and a by-election conducted. Remarkably, the act gives an opportunity the person who has been ejected out of the office to be a candidate for the by-election (Litvak, David 10). Therefore, the recalled Member of Parliament has the right to stand as a candidate at the by-election. The count of eligible voters who signed the recall petition was more than the threshold set out in the Act of ten percent.

Work Cited

Harrison, Kevin, and Tony Boyd. The Changing Constitution. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2015,.

Horne, Alex, and Gavin Drewry. Parliament And The Law. Oxford, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013,.

Jack, Malcolm, and Mark Hutton. Erskine May's Treatise On The Law, Privileges, Proceedings, And Usage Of Parliament.

Litvak, David. "A New United Kingdom Constitution." SSRN Electronic Journal, 2011, Elsevier BV, doi:10.2139/ssrn.1923913.

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