Electoral Act, 1997
Dáil election petition.
44.—The Act of 1992 is hereby amended—
(a) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (5) of section 132:
“(5A) A Dáil election shall not be declared invalid because of a non-compliance with any provision of Part V of the Electoral Act, 1997 or mistake in the use of forms provided for in that Act, or in any regulation or order made under that Act, where it appears to the court that a candidate or party, as the case may be, complied with the principles laid down in that Part of that Act taken as a whole and that such non-compliance or mistake did not materially affect the result of the election.”;
(b) by the substitution of the following paragraphs for paragraphs (1) and (2) of Rule 3 of the Third Schedule:
“(1) Subject to paragraph (3), a petition shall not be presented to the High Court unless that court, on application made to it in that behalf by or on behalf of the person proposing to present it not later than fourteen days after the result of the Dáil election is declared by the returning officer, by order grants leave to the person to do so.
(2) The High Court shall not grant leave under paragraph (1) to present a petition unless it is satisfied—
(a) that there is prima facie evidence of a matter referred to in section 132 in relation to which the petition questions the election result concerned, and
(b) that the said matter is such as to affect materially the result of the election.
(2A) A petition shall be presented by being lodged in the Central Office of the High Court not later than three days after the grant of leave by the High Court under paragraph (1).”;
(c) by the substitution for “the petition may be presented within the twenty-eight” of “leave of the High Court to present a petition under paragraph (1) may be applied for not later than fourteen” in paragraph (3) of Rule 3 of the Third Schedule; and
(d) by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (3) of Rule 3 of the Third Schedule:
“(3A) Where a petition alleges an irregularity or noncompliance with any provision of Part V of the Electoral Act, 1997 whether before or after the result of the Dáil election was declared by the returning officer, notwithstanding the fact that another petition relating to the same election may have been previously presented or tried, leave of the High Court to present a petition under paragraph (1) may be applied for not later than fourteen days next after the laying of a copy of a statement of election expenses before each House of the Oireachtas in accordance with section 37 of the Electoral Act, 1997”.