Decisions on requests for a remedy should be made with a time period set by law.
- Decisions on requests should be made expeditiously, within a time period specifically stated by the law.
- In accordance with the procedural time limits prescribed by law for publication of the preliminary and final results and for filing and deciding upon related challenges, all complaints and appeals should be determined once and for all within a maximum of two months.
- In order for the remedy of a violation to be effective, it must be provided in a timely and appropriate manner. This is particularly important in the electoral context due to the time-sensitive nature of the fast-paced process.
- Electoral disputes should be subject to prompt review. While there is no set standard for time limits, good electoral practice recommends three to five days, although longer deadlines may be allowed for the highest courts. Likewise, in challenges against election results, it is advisable that the final resolution of all complaints and appeals take place within two months, maximum.
- Due to the unique nature of election complaints, investigators must make their decisions in a timely fashion and in accordance with the rules, policies, and procedures that govern the electoral process.
- The principle of prompt investigation is important because election processes and results are time-bound, evidence may be time-sensitive or subject to destruction following an election, and impunity for electoral offenses may linger from one electoral cycle to the next if not dealt with in a timely manner.
- Given that there are legally specified periods for each electoral phase, decisions must be both timely and definitive. This implies that conflicts must be resolved before the conclusion of each respective phase of the electoral contest (e.g., any questions arising around the validity of an electoral candidate must be resolved conclusively before the electoral registration period has been completed).
- Electoral judicial proceedings should be timely, that is, a decision should be reached promptly and expeditiously within the legally established periods or stages of the electoral process. A decision taken outside this time frame may be unfair, and would make it impossible to correct the damage done to some electoral rights.
- Reasonable deadlines should be provided for bringing challenges (generally shorter than those for civil litigation and other branches of administrative law). These need to balance the time required by the person alleging harm by a particular electoral act or decision to take stock of its content and scope and to gather the evidence, on the one hand, against the need to obtain a timely resolution, given that electoral processes proceed in stages that cannot be changed or interrupted.