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Court of Disputed Returns

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The Court of Disputed Returns is a court, or a tribunal, or some other body that determines disputes about elections in some common law countries. Sometimes the court may be known by another name, such as the Court of Disputed Elections. In countries that derive their legal tradition from the United Kingdom, the legal tradition is that Parliament is the supreme law-making body in the country. That same tradition mandates that as Parliament is sovereign, it alone has authority and jurisdiction to determine who and how a person can be elected to Parliament. Implicit in that authority is the jurisdiction to determine whether a person has been validly elected. This is commonly known as a "disputed return" and which gives the court its name. The court is an attempt to eliminate the partisan nature of parliament and give the determination of electoral disputes to an independent and dispassionate neutral body. As parliament has the sole authority to determine these matters, parliament must create a special law to bring that body into existence to determine those disputes.

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