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Case details

R (on the application of Coughlan) (Appellant) v Minister for the Cabinet Office (Respondent)

Case ID: 2020/0129

Case summary


Are the voter identification ("ID") pilot schemes that were implemented in the May 2019 local government elections unlawful?


In August 2018 the Cabinet Office invited local authorities to take part in voter ID pilot schemes. Under these schemes, voters would not be allowed to vote in polling booths unless they had a form of ID on them, such as a driver’s licence. On 3 November 2018 the Cabinet Office announced that a number of local authorities had chosen to take part. The Minister for the Cabinet Office then made orders under section 10 of the Representation of the People Act 2000 (the "2000 Act") to allow for voter ID pilot schemes in these areas.

Mr Neil Coughlan challenges these orders by way of judicial review. His claim was dismissed by the High Court and the Court of Appeal. He now appeals to the Supreme court, seeking a declaration that these orders are unlawful for being ultra vires section 10 of the 2000 Act.

Judgment appealed

[2020] EWCA 723



Neil Coughlan


Minister for the Cabinet Office


LGBT Foundation and Stonewall
Operation Black Vote, the Runnymede Trust, and Voice4Change England



Lord Reed, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens, Dame Siobhan Keegan LCJ (NI)

Hearing start date

15 February 2022

Hearing finish date

15 February 2022

Watch hearing
15 Feb 2022 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

27 April 2022

Neutral citation

[2022] UKSC 11

Watch Judgment summary
27 Apr 2022 Judgment summary