PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY
NASSAU February 29, 1960 9A
COLONIAL SECRETARY'S OFFICE
The subjoined Rules made under The General Assembly
Elections Act 1959, No. 39 of 1959, are published for general in-
A. G. KNOX JOHNSTON,
Acting Colonial Secretary.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS ACT 1959.
(No. 39 of 1959).
In exercise of the powers conferred upon the Chief Justice
by section 78 of the General Assembly Elections Act 1959 the
following rules are hereby made:-
72- q 6
1. These Rules may be cited as the General Assembly Elec-
tions Rules 1960.
2. In these Rules, unless the contest otherwise requires-
"Registrar" means the Registrar of the Supreme Court;
"Returning Officer" means the Returning Officer au-
thorised under section 13 of the Act;
"the Act" means the General Assembly Elections Act
Manner of presentation of petition
3. (1) The presentation of an election petition shall be
made by delivering it at the Office of the Registrar, and the Reg-
istrar or the officer of his department to whom the petition is de-
livered shall, if required, give a receipt in the following form:-
Received on the........... day of.........., 19.... at
the Registry of the Supreme Court, a petition touching the
election of A.B., Member for............. purporting to be
signed by............... (insert the names of petitioners)
(or as the case may be).
(2) With the petition two copies thereof shall also be
Contents and form of election petition.
4. (1) An election petition shall contain the following
(a) it shall state the right of the petitioner to petition
within section 68 of the Act;
(b) it shall state the holding and result of the election,
and shall briefly state the facts and grounds relied on
to sustain the prayer.
(2) The petition shall be divided into paragraphs, each
of which, as nearly as may be, shall be confined to a distinct por-
tion of the subject, and every paragraph shall be numbered con-
secutively, and no costs shall be allowed for drawing or copying
any petition not substantially in compliance with this rule, unless
otherwise ordered by the Election Court.
(3) The petition shall conclude with a prayer as, for in-
stance, that some specified person should be declared duly re-
turned or elected, or that the election should be declared void,
or as the case may be, and shall be signed by all the petitioners.
(4) The following form, or one to the like effect, shall
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE BAHAMAS
The General Assembly Elections Act 1959 (No. 39 of 1959).
Election for.............. (state the electoral division)
holden on the .......... day of.............., 19....
The petition of A., of..........(or of A., of ...........
and B., of............... as the case may be) whose names
(1) Your petitioner A. is a person who voted (or had a
right to vote, as the case may be) at the above election (or
claims to have had a right to be returned at the above elec-
tion, or was a candidate at the above election), and your
petitioner B. (here state in like manner the right of each
(2) And your petitioners state that the election was
holdren on the.......... day of ........, 19...., When A.B.,
C.D., and E.F. were candidates, and the Returning Officer
has returned A.B. as being duly elected.
(3) And your petitioners say that (here state the facts
and grounds on which the petitioners rely).
Wherefore your petitioners pray that it might be de-
termined that the said A.B. was not duly elected or returned,
and that the election was void (or that the said E.F. was
duly elected and ought to have been returned, or as the case
Evidence not to be stated in petition Particulars
5. Evidence need not be stated in the petition, but the
Election Court may, upon application in writing by a respondent,
order such particulars as may be necessary to prevent surprise
and unnecessary expense, and to ensure a fair and effectual trial
upon such terms as to costs and otherwise as may be ordered.
Where more than one petition are presented in relation
to some election
6. Where more petitions than one are presented relating to
the same election or return, all such petitions shall be dealt with
as one petition, so far as the inquiry into the same is concerned.
List of votes objected to where seat claimed
by unsuccessful candidate
7. When a petitioner claims the seat for an unsuccessful
candidate, alleging that he had a majority of lawful votes, the
party complaining of or defending the election or return shall,
six days before the day appointed for trial, deliver to the Regis-
trar, and also at the address, if any, given by the petitioners and
respondent, as the case may be, a list of the votes intended to
be objected to, and of the heads of objection to each such vote,
and the Registrar shall allow inspection and office copies of such
lists to all parties concerned; and no evidence shall be given
against the validity of any vote, nor upon any head of objection
not specified in the list, except by leave of the Judge, upon such
terms as to amendment of the list, postponement of the inquiry,
and payment of costs, as may be ordered.
List of objections in recriminatory case
8. The respondent in a petition complaining of an undue
return and claiming the seat for some person may lead evidence
to prove that the election of such person was undue, and in such
case such respondent shall, six days before the day appointed for
trial, deliver to the Registrar, and also at the address, if any,
given by the petitioner, a list of the objections to the election
upon which he intends to rely, and the Registrar shall allow in-
spection of office copies of such lists to all parties concerned; and
no evidence shall be given by a respondent of any objection to
the election not specified in the list, except by leave of the Elec-
tion Court, upon such terms as to amendments of the list, post-
ponement of the inquiry, and payments of costs, as may be
Appointment of Attorney by petitioner.
9. With the petition the petitioner or petitioners shall leave
at the office of the Registrar a writing, signed by him or them,
giving the name of an attorney of the Supreme Court whom he
or they authorize to act as his or their attorney or stating that he
or they act for himself or themselves, as the case may be, and
in either case giving an address within the City of Nassau at
which notices may be left; and if no such writing be left or ad-
dress given, then all notices may be given by leaving the same at
the office of the Registrar. Every such writing shall be stamped
with the duty payable thereon under the law for the time being
Appointment of Attorney by respondent
10. Any member returned as a Member may at any time, after
he is returned, send or leave at the office of the Registrar a writ-
ing, signed by him on his behalf, appointing an attorney of the
Supreme Court to act as his attorney in case there should be a
petition against him, or stating that he intends to act for himself,
and in either case giving an address within the City of Nassau
at which notices addressed to him may be left, and if no such
writing be left or address given, all notices and proceedings may
be given or served by leaving the same at the office of the Reg-
istrar. Every such writing shall be stamped with the duty payable
thereon under the law for the time being in force.
Registrar to keep book with addresses and names of attorneys
11. The Registrar shall cause to ke kept a book at his office
in which shall be entered all addresses and the names of attorneys
given under either of the two last preceding rules, which book
shall be open to inspection by any person during his office hours.
Security for costs
12. (1) Where security for costs is directed by the Chief
Justice under section 70(2) of the Act to be given by recognisance
such recognisance shall be entered into in the usual manner be-
fore the Registrar, the surety or sureties for which shall in the
first instance be to the satisfaction of the Registrar.
(2) Where the security for costs or a part thereof is di-
rected to be given by a deposit of money, such deposit shall be
made to the Registrar and shall be drawn upon by the Chief
Justice for the purposes for which the security is required under
the Act upon the certificate of the Registrar as to the necessary
amount. A receipt for the deposit money shall be given to the
petitioner by the Registrar who shall keep an account, open to
the inspection of all parties concerned, in which shall be entered
from time to time the amount and the petition to which it is ap-
Objections to a recognisance
13. (1) The written objection to any recognisance shall be
lodged by the respondent with the Registrar and notice thereof
shall be served upon the petitioner. The Registrar shall set a
date not being more than 5 days after the service of the notice of
objection upon the petitioner, for hearing and deciding upon the
objection. The Registrar may require evidence to be produced at
such hearing over and above that of the respondent and the
petitioner and such evidence may be given orally or by affidavit
as the Registrar may think fit.
(2) In the event of the objection being upheld by the Reg-
istrar the time within which the petitioner may remove the ob-
jection by a deposit of money shall be five days from the date
of the upholding of the objection and the Registrar shall upon
giving his decision consult with the Chief Justice as soon as pos-
sible as to the amount of such deposit and inform the petitioner
Notice of petition, and copy of petition to be served on respondent
14. (1) Notice of the presentation of a petition of the nature
of the proposed security, and accompanied by a copy thereof,
shall, within five days of the presentation of the petition, be served
by the petitioner on the respondent. Such service may be effected
either by delivering the notice and copy aforesaid to the attorney
appointed by the respondent under rule 10 or by posting the
same in a registered letter to the address given under rule 10 at
such time that, in the ordinary course of post, the letter would
be delivered within the time above-mentioned, or if no attorney
has been appointed, nor such address given, by a notice published
in the Gazette stating that such petition has been presented, and
that a copy of the same may be obtained by the respondent on
application at the Office of the Registrar.
(2) The respondent may object in writing to any
recognisance within five days after the service of the notice afore-
When petition to be deemed at issue
15. On the expiration of the time limited for making
petitions, the petition shall be deemed to be at issue.
List of petitions
16. The Registrar shall make out the election petition list.
In it he shall insert the names of the attorneys of the petitioners
and respondents appointed under rule 9 and rule 10 respectively,
and the addresses to which notices may be sent, if any. The list
may be inspected at the office of the Registrar at any time during
office hours, and shall be affixed for that purpose upon a notice
board appropriated to proceedings under the Order, and headed
"The General Assembly Elections Act 1959 (No. 39 of 1959)".
Time and place of trial of election petition
17. The time and place of the trial of each election petition
shall be fixed by the Election Court, and not less than fourteen
days' notice thereof shall be given to the petitoner and respondent
by letter directed to the address left by such petitioner or re-
spondent with the Registrar; or, if no such address has been left,
by notice in the Gazette.
Postponement of trial
18. The Election Court may from time to time, by order
made on the application of a party to the petition, postpone the
beginning of the trial to such day as it may name; and such order,
when made, shall forthwith be published by the Registrar in the
Adjournment and continuation of trial
19. No formal adjournment of the Court for the trial of an
election petition shall be necessary, but the trial is to be deemed
adjourned, and may be continued from day to day until the in-
quiry is concluded.
Withdrawal of election petition
20. (1) An election petition shall not be withdrawn without
the leave of the Election Court and such leave may be given
upon such terms as to the payment of costs and otherwise as
such Court may think fit.
(2) Before leave for the withdrawal of an election
petition is granted, there shall be produced affidavits as required
y this rule by all the parties to the petition and their attorneys,
and by the election agents of all the said parties who were can-
didates at the election, but the Election Court may on cause
shown dispense with the affidavit of any particular person if it
seems to the Court on special grounds to be just so to do.
(3) Each affidavit shall state that, to the best of the de-
ponent's knowledge and belief no agreement or terms of any kind
whatsoever has or have been made, and no undertaking has been
entered into in relation to the withdrawal of the petition; but
if any lawful agreement has been made with respect to the with-
drawal of the petition, the affidavit shall set forth that agreement,
and shall make the foregoing statement subject to what appears
from the affidavit.
(4) The affidavits of the applicant and his attorney shall
further state the ground on which the petition is sought to be
Form of application to withdraw petition
21. (1) An application for leave to withdraw a petition shall
be in writing signed by the petitioner or petitioners or his or
their attorney or attorneys. It shall state the ground on which
the application is supported.
(2) The following form shall be sufficient:-
"The General Assembly Elections Act 1959. (No. 39 of 1959).
Electoral division.......... petition of ......... (state
name of petitioner) presented......day of...... 19....
The petitioner applies to withdraw his petition upon the
following ground (here state the ground), and prays that
a day may be appointed for hearing his application
Dated this..........day of.........,. 19....
Copy of application to be given to respondent
22. A copy of such application shall be given by the
petitioner to the respondent, and a notice in the following terms
signed by the petitioner shall be published forthwith in the
Gazette by the petitioner at his own expense:-
"The General Assembly Elections Act 1959. (No. 39 of
In the election petition for.......in which.......
is petitioner and..............respondent.
Notice is hereby given that the above petitioner did
on the........day of........lodge at the Office of the
Registrar of the Supreme Court an application for leave
to withdraw the petition, of which application the fol-
lowing is a copy:-
(Set it out)
And Take Notice that under "The General Assem-
bly Elections Rules 1960", any person who might have
been a petitioner in respect of the said election may,
within five days after the date of publication of this
notice, give notice in writing to the Registrar of the
Supreme Court of his intention on the hearing of the
application to be substituted as a petitioner.
Application to be substituted as petitioner, on withdrawal
23. Any person who might have been a petitioner in re-
spect of the election to which the petition relates may, within
five days after such notice is published by the petitioner, give
notice in writing, signed by him or on his behalf, to the Registrar,
of his intention to apply at the hearing to be substituted for the
petitioner, but the want of such notice shall not defeat such ap-
plication, if in fact made at the hearing.
Time and place of hearing of application
24. The time and place of hearing the application shall be
fixed by the Election Court but shall not be less than a week
after the application for leave to withdraw has been left at the
Office of the Registrar as hereinbefore provided, and notice of
the time and place appointed for the hearing shall be given to
such person or persons, if any, as shall have given notice to the
Registrar of an intention to apply to be substituted as petitioners,
and otherwise in such manner and such time as the Court directs.
Substitution of another petitioner
25. (1) On the hearing of the application for withdrawal
any person who might have been a petitioner in respect of the
election to which the petition relates, may apply to the Election
Court to be substituted as a petitioner for the petitioner so de-
sirous of withdrawing the petition.
(2) The Election Court may, if it thinks fit, substitute
as a petitioner any such applicant as aforesaid; and may further,
if the proposed withdrawal is in the opinion of the Court induced
by any corrupt bargain or consideration, by order direct that
the security given on behalf of the original petitioner shall re-
main as security for any costs that may be incurred by the sub-
stituted petitioner, and that to the extent of the sum named in
such security the original petitioner shall be liable to pay the
costs of the substituted petitioner.
(3) If no such order is made with respect to the security
given on behalf of the original petitioner, security to the same
amount as would be required in the case of a new petition, and
subject to the like conditions, shall be given on behalf of the
substituted petitioner before he proceeds with his petition, and
within three days after the order of substitution.
(4) Subject as aforesaid a substituted petitioner shall
stand in the same position as nearly as may be, and be subject
to the same liabilities as the original petitioner.
(5) If a petition is withdrawn, the petitioner shall be
liable to pay the costs of the respondent.
(6) Where there are more petitioners than one, no ap-
plication to withdraw a petition shall be made except with the
consent of all the petitioners.
Abatement of petition by death
26. (1) An election petition shall be abated by the death
of a sole petitioner or of the survivor of several petitioners.
(2) The abatement of a petition shall not affect the liability
of the petitioner or of any other person to the payment of costs
Application to be substituted as petitioner on abatement
27. (1) Notice of abatement of a petition, by death of the
petitioner or surviving petitioner, shall be given by the party or
person interested in the same manner as notice of an application
to withdraw a petition, and the time within which application
may be made to the Election Court to be substituted as a
petitioner shall be one calendar month, from the day of the pub-
lication of the notice of abatement or much further time as upon
consideration of any special circumstances the Court may allow.
(2) Any person who might have been a petitioner in re-
spect of the election to which the petition relates may apply to
the Election Court to be substituted as a petitioner.
(3) The Election Court may, if it thinks fit, substitute as
a petitioner any such applicant who is desirous of being sub-
stituted and on whose behalf security to the same amount is given
as is required in the case of a new petition.
On death, resignation, or notice not to oppose of respondent,
the petition to continue
28. (1) If before the trial of an election petition a re-
spondent dies or resigns, or gives notice in writing to the Election
Court that he does not intend to oppose the petition, the petition
shall not be abated but shall continue whether or not any person
applies to be admitted as respondent as hereinafter provided.
(2) Notice of the fact that a respondent has died, or re-
signed, or that he has given notice in writing that he does not
intend to oppose the petition, shall be published in the Gazette
by the Registrar.
(3) Any person who might have been a petitioner in re-
spect of the election to which the petition relates may apply to
the Election Court to be admitted as a respondent to oppose the
petition within ten days after such notice has been published in
the Gazette or such further time as the Court may allow.
(4) The manner and time of the respondent's giving
notice to the Election Court that he does not intend to oppose
the petition, shall be by leaving notice thereof in writing at the
Office of the Registrar, signed by the respondent not less than six
days before the day appointed for trial, exclusive of the day of
leaving such notice.
Respondent not opposing petition not to appear as party
29. A respondent who has given notice of his intention not
to oppose a petition shall not be allowed to appear or act as a
party against such petition in any proceedings thereon.
Countermanding notice of trial where petition abated, etc.
30. After receiving the petitioner's application for leave to
withdraw or notice of the respondent's intention not to oppose,
or of the abatement of the petition by death, or of the happening
of any of the events mentioned in rule 28, if such notice be re-
ceived after notice of trial shall have been given, and before the
trial has commenced, the Registrar shall forthwith countermand
the notice of trial. The countermand shall be given in the same
manner, as near as may be, as the notice of trial.
31. All costs of and incidental to the presentation of a
petition and to the proceedings consequent thereon shall be de-
frayed by the parties to the petition in such manner and in such
proportions as the Election Court may determine, regard being
had to the disallowance of any costs which may, in the opinion
of the Court, have been caused by vexatious conduct, unfounded
allegations, or unfounded objections, on the part either of the
petitioner or the respondent and regard being had to the dis-
couragement of any needless expense by throwing the burden
of defraying the same on the parties by whom it has been caused,
whether such parties are or are not on the whole successful.
Taxation and recovery of costs
32. (1) Costs shall be taxed by the Registrar upon the order
by which the costs are payable in the same manner as costs are
taxed in the Supreme Court, but subject to such express direc-
tions, either general or specific, as the Election Court may give;
and costs when taxed may be recovered in the same manner as
the costs of an action at law.
(2) The Chief Justice may direct that the whole or any
part of any moneys deposited by way of security under the pro-
visions of rules 12 and 13 may be applied in the payment of taxed
(3) The office fees payable for inspection, office copies
and other proceedings under these Rules shall be such as may
be prescribed by the Supreme Court Rules.
Notice of appointment of attorney
33. An attorney shall, immediately upon his appointment as
such, leave written notice thereof at the office of the Registrar.
Service of notices on attorneys,
34. Service of notices and proceedings upon such attorneys
shall be sufficient for all purposes.
Made at Nassau this twenty-third day of February, 1960.
G. W. McL. HENDERSON,
Approved by the Governor in Council this 29th day of
A. G. KNOX JOHNSTON,
Clerk to Executive Council,