The role of Supreme Court in Electoral Process: [Essay Example], 756 words GradesFixer

Haven't found the right essay?

Get an expert to write your essay!


Professional writers and researchers


Sources and citation are provided


3 hour delivery

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The role of Supreme Court in Electoral Process

  • Category: Law
  • Topic: Court
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 756
  • Published: 17 Jun 2018
  • Downloads: 356
Download Print

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

Download PDF

In recent years the courts have been increasingly involved in resolving electoral disputes in many countries across the globe. This is part of the direct involvement of the Supreme Courts in the electoral process and shaping political contests. The facts are, (the members of the court are integral elements of the larger political setting” (Hirschl, 2006, p. 721).

Existing literature has offered several explanations on the roles of Supreme Court in the electoral process; first is the constitutional power of the court, which places on the courts all the powers and sanctions of a court of law and makes the courts arbiter in all disputes (Hirschl, 2006; Bork, 2002). Ely (1980) refers to court’s power of arbiter as a means to ensure that elected leaders or representatives of various seats are not “choking off the channels of political change to ensure that they will stay in and the out will stay out” (Ely, 1980 cited in Gloppen, 2004, p.4).

For example, the Supreme Court of India is the guardian and interpreter of the constitution. It does not allow the executive or the parliament to violet any provision of the constitution; India’s highest court banned political candidates from seeking election on the basis of religion caste or language.

Second, court involvement is an essential element of the entire electoral cycle. The courts “ensure that each action, procedures, and decision-related to the electoral process are in line with the law” (International IDEA, 2010, P.1). Von Doepp (2009) supports this by stating that vibrant and autonomous judiciaries are central means to democracy, and “represent key ingredients for democratic consolidation (p. 1).”

The third is the competitive nature of most presidential elections. In a presidential democracy, the president wields substantial powers, and the influence that comes with the office makes it very attractive. The consequence is that election rigging becomes commonplace in most presidential democracies. Under these circumstances, candidates or political parties disadvantaged by the process usually approach the Supreme Courts for electoral justices. Supreme Courts have been involved in the judicial intervention in the management of election petitions and another related electoral process. Supreme Court is the highest court with jurisdiction to here and determines election petitions, is the process-based approach of election quality (Van Ham, 2012). This involves examination of the overall judgment of election quality based on more specific indicators of irregularities before, during and after election day. For example, Article 163 of the Constitution of Kenya establishes and bestows upon the Supreme Court of Kenya (SCoK) exclusive and original jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to the elections of the office of the president. This means that the Supreme Court of Kenya (SCoK) has the power to adjudicate on presidential election disputes to the exclusion of all other courts.

The puzzle is to understand how the courts have performed along these three explanatory variables. Given that, post-electoral challenges are almost never successful in changing election results (Hernandez Huerta, 2015). More importantly, when most involvements of the courts in the electoral process leading to an unprecedented constitutional crisis such as in America (Hirschl, 2006) or “further undermine democracy as is the case in Nigeria (Omenma, 2015, p. 1). Despite these reservations, there is strong belief that the judiciary “cannot be a passive on-looker” in the democratic process (Muhammad, 2012, p. 41); that courts’ “interventions in the electoral processes have gone a long way to deepen our democratic system. Judicial Intervention

Judicial intervention in the management of election petitions and other related political matters has greatly expanded in the last decade (Rares, 2011; Gloppwn, 2004; Ugochukwu, 2009). In fact, courts have been involved in wide range of issues that border on national and international political importance. Rares (2011, p. 1) notes that the “Judicial system is a public resource that must be managed so as to ensure that the right of the public to have access to a court to resolve their disputes is not empty rhetoric”. Ellett (2008) argues that in Africa “the new leaders of the continent … are systematically obstructing the liberalization of the political system in an effort to remain in power as long as possible…” thereby “choking off the channels of the political change…” which is necessary for development (Ely, 1980 cited in Gloppen, 2004. P. 4). The consideration, therefore, is not only on the constitutional role of the Supreme Courts to resolve electoral disputes, but how the court confines itself to “the application of legal principles” (Okoye, 2009, p. 128) without empty rhetoric

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism free

Sources and citations are provided

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

GradesFixer. (2018). The role of Supreme Court in Electoral Process. Retrived from
GradesFixer. "The role of Supreme Court in Electoral Process." GradesFixer, 17 Jun. 2018,
GradesFixer, 2018. The role of Supreme Court in Electoral Process. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 10 July 2020].
GradesFixer. The role of Supreme Court in Electoral Process [Internet]. GradesFixer; 2018 [cited 2018 Jun 17]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

    Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you



    Your essay sample has been sent.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.