DO YOU HAVE A SOUL?
DO YOU SUPPORT JUSTICE?
DO YOU DESPISE CHILD ABUSE?
If so – Now is the Time to Mobilise
And Make YOUR Government Act.
Read my Report to Jack Straw
Below this Posting –
Then Demand That he Act.
In my last posting, I wrote about the naïve sense of optimism I felt at learning of the covert police investigation into the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster, back in November, 2007.
The cynicism tutored into me by 18 years in Jersey politics was suddenly lifted – for a time – with the news that, at last, we had a straight, decent police force who were investigating the many decades of concealed child abuse.
But a part of me still suspected – perhaps subconsciously knew – that if the Jersey oligarchy were left to their own devices – by hook or by crook – they’d find a way of burying it all again – and denying justice to the survivors.
So whilst the Jersey police – at least when under the leadership of Graham Power and Lenny Harper – were doing their policing job – I knew I would have to be doing my political job.
Different tasks – needing to be pursued in different ways – but working to the same objective.
Seeking the proper rule of law and the good administration of justice.
So amongst the mountainous volumes of work I’ve done during these last two years – one of the key things was writing the report I re-produce below.
I sent it – on the 27th March, 2008, to the Justice Secretary of the British Government – Jack Straw MP. Cabinet member, former student radical – and now someone who – apparently – fancies his chances of becoming leader of the Labour Party, should Gordon Brown not survive in that job.
Along with my report, I sent certain appendices which evidenced much of what I had written. I had kindly been supplied, by Westminster contacts, with Straw’s direct Office e-mail address, to which I sent it.
And – to make doubly sure he couldn’t claim to have never seen the report – two MPs – John Hemming, Lib-Dem, and Austin Mitchell, Labour – saw that copies were actually thrust into his hand.
I’m sometimes asked if I plan to write my memoirs. A few years ago, I fully planned to do just that, and had said so publicly – to the mocking amusement of my “esteemed colleagues” – before any of this controversy began. Now? I’m just really not sure I have the energy or inclination any more.
But if I did – a very strong contender for the title would – tragically – have to be – “I Told You So.”
Re-reading the report below for the first time in around six months made me again ask myself the question – “what on Earth ever possessed me to be – for a time – optimistic that truth and justice would prevail?”
I knew it wouldn’t.
It’s all there in the report.
Every burningly obvious defect, malfeasance, conflict and danger exhibited by the Jersey oligarchy in respect of the Child Abuse Disaster – I knew.
Which is why I wrote it all down in the report below.
In fact – when thinking about it now – I realise I was terrified – that isn’t too strong a word – for my constituents.
Terrified that they’d be betrayed by The System – yet again.
Jesus – I can’t even write about them – their feelings – their needs, now. I was going to – but I just can’t.
My sense of personal failure is just too overwhelming.
The report is long – I felt I had to cover all bases – to give it my best shot.
But it just wasn’t good enough – when faced with the entrenched might of the British Establishment – the Jersey oligarchy’s powerful connections – their infamous “Friends At Court At Whitehall.”
I was going to say Straw simply ignored it; but, actually, that would be conferring too high a credibility on his response. I don’t believe he actually bothered to read it; and – to actually make matters worse – he simply placed it in the hands of those Whitehall mandarins who appear to be little better than performing monkeys – at the command of the Jersey oligarchy and their high connections in the British military.
Inevitably – the only response from London was intransigence. So five months later, John Hemming and I set about the task of attempting to get Jack Straw’s acts and omissions judicially reviewed in London. The case, eventually, came to court in March, 2009.
I was self-representing – not being able to afford a lawyer – and turned up in the Royal Courts of “Justice” – to discover – guess what?
That two judges had been chosen to hear the ‘permissions application’ – one of them, a man who had been suspected of being a flasher – Stephen Richards – and the other – Michael Tugendhat – a friend of Jersey’s directly conflicted “Bailiff” Sir Phillip Bailhache.
Because, like, that’s what you expect, yeah?
You’re going to court arguing that the Jersey judiciary has been pro-actively involved in covering-up sexual perversions – and the two judges you get to hear your case are a man with an unfortunate history of being prosecuted for sexual perversions – Richards – and a man who was appointed to Jersey’s Court of Appeal by Jersey’s London-appointed head of judiciary Phil Bailhache – Tugendhat.
I was ordered to stand low down in the intimidating well of Court No.1 at the Royal Courts of Justice, so I had to crane my neck to look upwards at the two judges. The Government’s lawyers were high & distant on the ascending rows of benches behind me. I was given only one hour to make the application, I was constantly interrupted, diverted, shouted-over, distracted and hampered in the making of our case by the judge who had been acquitted of flashing women on a train. By contrast the UK Government side were not even required to state their case. The two judges retired for 15 minutes – to tweak a little bit the “judgment” they had plainly already written. And when they returned – they basically told us to sod off.
And bear in mind – this wasn’t a rejection of our case in a judicial review.
This was simply an utterly irrational flat refusal of permission to even mount a case for judicial review; a decision simply incompatible with precedent, the case-specific evidence, case-law and the relevant constitutional authorities.
I was not even supplied with a copy of the judgment, or a transcript of the proceeding. But going from memory, the argument of the two judges was basically this:
“You want the actions of the UK Justice Secretary to be judicially reviewed because he is tolerating a corrupt and stagnant judicial system in Jersey. What you should be doing then is going before that corrupt and stagnant judicial system in Jersey – and ask then to judicially review themselves.”
You just couldn’t make it up.
So – sure enough. Every concern I had for the rights and protections of my constituents – all the dangers that troubled me – every hazard – every probable outcome – that I tried to head-off by writing to the Labour Party’s Jack Straw when he held the relevant Office of Secretary of State for Justice has come to pass.
A few, token – not well-connected – scumbags have been prosecuted in Jersey – for appearances sake.
A few survivors have got justice.
The vast majority of the criminals have not even been prosecuted. They’ve simply been let-off – as predicted – by the Jersey oligarchy.
Most of the survivors betrayed – again.
In fact – the one of the few major court cases we’re going to see – is me – being prosecuted for allegedly breaking the data protection law by making public interest disclosures.
Funny, no? In a tragic kind of way?
And it just isn’t going to get any better. You want to know what’s changed since I wrote the report?
The then Bailiff, Phil Bailhache has settled into luxurious retirement.
Michael Birt has been promoted from Deputy Bailiff to Bailiff.
Bill Bailhache – Phil Bailhache’s equally conflicted brother – has been promoted from Attorney General to Deputy Bailiff.
So the whole armour-plated, invulnerable, teflon-coated succession of self-sustaining, self-protecting megalomaniac, unethical neo-feudalists continues – with the apparent blessing of the Labour Government.
So I’d like to make a simple appeal to those who read this posting – who read the report below – and who are members or supporters of the Labour Party.
Your leaders don’t give a damn.
They have sat-back – and watched the plainly stagnant and corrupt upper-class, rich oligarchy in the medieval tax-haven of Jersey get away with protecting and concealing child abusers.
And betraying the victims of child abuse.
If you believe the Labour Party should exhibit higher values – greater responsibility – better ethics – then many thousands of you ordinary members of the Party need to get angry – get mobilised – and get a very – very – clear and powerful message to your bosses.
Because they sure as hell aren’t going to do the right thing unless driven to it by grass-roots pressure.
And when reading the report below – always bear in mind what it is the survivors, the whistleblowers, the many decent people of this community, and some of our politicians, like me, are seeking.
Not revolution, not anarchy, not invasion by the UK, not the destruction of this small island’s culture, not annexation, and nor some kind of utopian fantasy.
All we seek are a genuinely independent judiciary, an objective and non-political prosecution service, a separation of powers, objective and impartial courts, effective checks and balances, the good administration of justice – and the proper rule of law.
And this in the 21st century.
Is that really too much to seek?
REPORT TO JACK STRAW
From: Senator Stuart Syvret
C/O Morier House
27th March 2008
REPORT TO THE UNITED KINGDOM JUSTICE SECRETARY
JACK STRAW MP
CONCERNING CHILD ABUSE IN THE ISLAND OF JERSEY
AND THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE BRITISH AUTHORITIES
TO ENSURE THE RULE OF LAW AND THE
GOOD ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN THE BRITISH CROWN DEPENDENCY OF JERSEY
Jack Straw M.P
House of Commons
Dear Mr. Straw,
I write to you to draw to your attention a very serious range of issues for which you have responsibility, and to request that you use your constitutional powers to ensure the good administration of justice in Jersey.
Please forgive the length of this report – but the maters it deals with are of the utmost gravity.
The situation is this:
Hundreds of vulnerable children in Jersey have suffered the most appaling child abuse. This abuse has affected generations of people, leaving most of them with ruined lives. Others have committed suicide.
The scale of the abuses, their systemic nature – and the fact that they were able to take place largely unexposed and unpunished for decade after decade represents a catastrophic failing of ‘checks and balances’ in Jersey.
Such failure to protect vulnerable children calls into question the Rule of Law and the good administration of justice in the island.
Every part of the Jersey prosecutory and judicial apparatus is hopelessly conflicted in respect of any matter – civil or criminal – which may arise from the child abuse crisis in Jersey.
This fact is well-evidenced.
I will explain that evidence later.
Accompanying this e-mailed letter are two PDF files, the Sharp report and the Dylan Southern Report.
Both reports evidence in detail disastrous breakdowns in child protection and the Rule of Law in Jersey.
Given the profound conflicts of interest concerning the Jersey prosecutory and judicial apparatus, no part of it is remotely capable of meeting the test of the “appearance of objectivity” which any credible judicial process must meet.
I am, therefore – and at the express request of a significant number of my constituents who are victims of the systemic child abuse in Jersey – writing to request that you use the constitutional powers vested in you to ensure good governance and the proper administration of justice in Jersey.
Structure of this Report.
In this report I detail the following facts:
1: The background to the present child abuse disaster in Jersey.
2:Your constitutional responsibilities and powers in respect of the Crown Dependencies.
3: The nature of the United Kingdom’s international obligations for what takes place in the Crown Dependencies.
4: The good name of the Crown – and why that good name is presently in serious jeopardy in Jersey.
5: The established and accepted doctrine of the separation of powers.
6: The conflictedness of the Jersey judiciary.
7: The conflictedness of the Jersey prosecutory service.
8: The established and accepted test of ‘the appearance of objectivity’ which any respectable judicial process must meet.
9: Democracy and the good administration of justice: recognising that they are not always the same cause.
10: The United Kingdom: jus cogens, erga omnes and Jersey.
11: Evidenced examples of possible criminality by senior figures in Jersey’s judicial and prosecutory services.
12: The present status of the current investigations of those senior figures by the Police Force.
13 Action that must be taken by you in defence of the victims, in the name of the Rule of Law, to defend the good name of the Crown and to meet the United Kingdom’s international obligations.
As you will be aware, the island of Jersey is having to come to terms with at least seven decades of the most monstrous and persistent child abuse.
95% of which has gone unexposed and unpunished.
These crimes may have even included child murder.
The States of Jersey Police Force are still undertaking their investigations, and expect to make a substantial number of arrests.
The offences being investigated by the Police Force are not confined only to instances of abuse; they are also investigating the extensive cover-ups and concealments of that abuse – abuse which has taken place over many decades.
In this respect, they will almost certainly be seeking to bring charges of Perverting the Course of Justice, Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice and Misconduct in a Public Office.
And it is this aspect of the crisis – the concealment of abuse and resultant perversion of the course of justice – that is of particular interest to you given your constitutional responsibilities and powers.
The central importance of this aspect of the Jersey child abuse disaster cannot be over-stated. Every community, sadly, has abusers within it. Other jurisdictions have also experienced well-documented examples of persistent abuse concealed for many years by certain institutions.
However – what makes the Jersey situation so extreme is the sheer quantity of victims – and the fact that the abuse was able to persist largely unexposed for generations.
This failure by the island’s authorities to adequately protect Jersey’s vulnerable children has been caused by a near-complete breakdown of effective checks and balances.
Whilst there has, plainly, been a catastrophic breakdown of oversight and regulation on the part of the island’s government – of more alarming concern must be the failure of the Crown in Jersey to properly fulfil its role with respect to good governance, the rule of law and the good administration of justice when dealing with child abuse.
I will explain these – well-evidenced – failures later.
I will now turn to your role and responsibilities in helping the people of Jersey re-gain the proper protection of the Crown, the rule of law and the good administration of justice.
2: Your constitutional powers.
As Justice Minister, a post formerly designated Lord Chancellor, you have ultimate power over the Crown Dependencies insofar as “good governance and the proper administration of justice” are concerned.
It is, naturally, disputed by the Jersey authorities of today that you possess these responsibilities and consequent powers.
Such a claim is historically and constitutionally unsustainable and readily disposed of.
Over the generations, most Jersey authorities – including its Crown-appointed officers – have accepted that the Crown ultimately has responsibility for – and thus the consequent power to intervene in – matters of “good government and the proper administration of justice”. In practice these responsibilities and powers lie with the UK government.
This view was the conclusion of the 1973 Royal Commission on the Constitution (the Kilbrandon Report)
I will refer to the Kilbrandon Report in more detail later.
3: The United Kingdom’s International Obligations.
Even setting aside the established, constitutional existence of an inherent power of the Crown to intervene in the Crown Dependencies for the purposes of good governance and the proper administration of justice, there are further – unambiguous – obligations upon, and therefore powers vested with, the United Kingdom.
Whilst the authorities of Jersey are customarily allowed to govern the island’s internal, domestic affairs, it is well-established that the United Kingdom does, indeed, carry responsibility for any international or foreign policy matter which bears upon the island.
The United Kingdom is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. The island of Jersey is also a signatory to the ECHR. But in the case of Jersey, we are signatories to the Convention through the United Kingdom. This is also the case in respect of many other international treaties and conventions.
Therefore any breach of the Rights enshrined in the ECHR by the Jersey authorities, has the effect of placing the United Kingdom in breach of its Convention obligations.
To illustrate this point further we need only reflect upon the fact that any human rights case pursued by a resident of Jersey to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg is always designated [the plaintiff] ‘Vs the United Kingdom’
The fact that the United Kingdom carries responsibility for adherence to the Convention in the Crown Dependencies has long been recognised by London.
Let me give two, brief examples of intervention by London to ensure compliance with the ECHR by the Channel Islands.
Homosexuality remained illegal in Jersey up until the late 1980s. The island authorities of the day strongly resisted the arguments for change. The States of Jersey exhibited much prejudice, and resisted persuasion from London. There was an absolute determination by the States of Jersey to resist the necessary legislative changes.
But the criminalisation of homosexual acts was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore the refusal of the Jersey government to meet its ECHR obligations had the effect of placing the United Kingdom in breach of its convention obligations. This fact was well-recognised by the authorities in London who made increasingly serious attempts to make the Jersey authorities undertake the necessary legislative changes. Yet still the traditional establishment of the island resisted.
Ultimately, therefore, Jersey was told by London “Either you change your laws as required – or we will do it for you – and impose the necessary legislation.”
The island’s authorities – reluctantly seeing the inevitability of legislative intervention – conceded in the final analysis and changed the law. But only did so after immense pressure – and finally the ultimatum “you change your law – or we will do it for you.”
In this case we see on the part of the authorities in London, a clear recognition of the fact that the UK is placed in breach of the ECHR if breaches of that Convention are permitted in the Channel Islands. Moreover – with such a consequence for the UK, it was also recognised that, ultimately direct intervention by London both could take place, and may even be necessary.
A further, more recent, example of intervention by the authorities of the United Kingdom in Channel Island domestic affairs is to be found in the case of Sark.
The island of Sark was – until very recent changes, which were required by the United Kingdom – Europe’s last functioning feudal society. Democracy did not exist as the Sark ‘parliament’ – the Chief Pleas – consisted of wealthy landowners who were not elected – but instead had an automatic seat in the assembly by dint of their property ownership.
The feudalism of Sark – whilst appearing quaint to some – was clearly wholly incompatible with several key clauses of the ECHR. This was, again, recognised by the United Kingdom. Not wishing to become in breach of the Convention, London brought immense pressure to bear upon the authorities in Sark and Guernsey to introduce functioning democracy. The ultimate threat was the imposition of legislation from London. So, although the traditionalists strongly resisted change – they recognised the inevitability of UK intervention and, reluctantly, changed their legislation so that it met the requirements of the ECHR.
There is also the view – indeed it was the conclusion of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Constitution in 1973 (the Kilbrandon Report) – that if the United Kingdom has an international obligation, then it must have the concomitant legal power to take such action as is necessary to ensure that the United Kingdom does not breach that obligation.
Taken to its logical conclusion, this will mean that if there were an international obligation binding on the United Kingdom as a result of, in this case the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Kingdom can assert that it was in law entitled to take action to ensure that Jersey performed its obligations.
Considering the above points, it is, therefore, clearly established that the government of the United Kingdom has the constitutional power – in the name of the Crown – to intervene for the purposes of good governance and of the proper administration of justice.
It is also clearly established that in respect of foreign policy matters – such as adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights – the United Kingdom carries responsibility for what takes place in the Channel Islands – and therefore has a concomitant power to ensure adherence to such conventions.
In the present case it is difficult to imagine a more serious ECHR requirement than ensuring the good administration of justice – that Article 6 of the Convention is adhered to.
There can, therefore, be no credible argument against your powers to intervene in order to ensure the rule of law and the proper administration of justice in Jersey.
4: The Good Name of the Crown.
Whilst Jersey is proud to be a self-governing jurisdiction – the apparatus of the state and its powers in the island is not based upon purely ‘indigenous’ institutions.
The island is proud of its status as a Crown Dependency, always expresses loyalty to the Crown – and, in particular, its judiciary enjoys the authority and credibility of association with the good name of the British Crown.
Indeed, it should be clearly noted at this point that the senior judicial and prosecutory officers of Jersey’s Royal Court are, in fact, appointed from London.
They are not accountable to any entity or public authority in Jersey.
It is, therefore, even more clearly demonstrated that the United Kingdom cannot wash its hands of responsibility for the standards and performance of its appointed agents in Jersey, such as the senior judiciary and Crown Prosecution officers.
It must be understood clearly – and there can be no escaping this fact – that if the Crown-appointed, Royal Court authorities in Jersey display any misfeasance or malfeasance then the good name of the Crown becomes blackened.
If the British state is content to allow the good name of the Crown to be used by Jersey, and if the Jersey authorities are likewise pleased to enjoy that credibility of association – then both sets of authorities must defend the reputation of the Crown from any possible hint of taint.
5: Separation of Powers.
In modern democracies it has long been recognised and established that there should be a separation of powers. Although in the United Kingdom some small, but largely symbolic, overlap in powers remains, in practice the Crown Prosecution Service, judges and the Courts are free from any political association, let alone political interference.
Thus the administration of justice in the United Kingdom is recognised to be amongst the finest in the world.
But in Jersey, an archaic and profoundly unhealthy overlap exists between the legilsature and the judiciary. Moreover, this overlap also politically contaminates the island’s Crown Prosecution Service.
To briefly explain the conflicts of interest as manifested in Jersey’s arrangements.
The head of the island’s judiciary, its chief judge, is known as ‘the Bailiff’. But in addition to being the Crown appointed leader of Jersey’s judicial apparatus – he is also President – the equivalent of Speaker – of the island’s parliament, ‘the States’.
The present incumbent is Philip Bailhache. The present Jersey Attorney General is his brother, William Bailhache.
The deputy head of the island’s judiciary – and also deputy Speaker of its parliament is the ‘Deputy Bailiff’; the present incumbent being Michael Birt, a former Attorney General.
The present Attorney General is William Bailhache, the Bailiff’s brother. In Jersey the Attorney General is the de facto Director of Public Prosecutions and its Crown Prosecution Service.
His deputy is the Solicitor General, who is vested with similar powers.
Therefore we have the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff – who are active and busy judges in Jersey’s Royal Court – also acting as Speakers in the island’s parliament.
And in this latter role, they frequently exercise extremely archaic supposed ‘powers’ to determine what bills may be tabled, or what questions may be asked, by elected members of the States assembly.
6: The Jersey Judiciary.
However, the major concern with the deeply conflicted position of Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff is in the exercising of their judicial functions.
Routinely chairing meetings of the Jersey parliament, both of these individuals are regularly exposed to all of the ideological arguments, purposes, disputes, motivations and political influences on display during the debating of legislation – laws they are subsequently expected to adjudicate upon.
These contaminating influences therefore clearly render both individuals incapable of meeting the necessary test of ‘the appearance of objectivity’ when hearing cases in the Royal Court.
However the conflictedness of these two individuals is even more serious. Both the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff are deeply politicised individuals – indeed, often making little attempt to hide that fact.
By way of recent – and highly pertinent example – the Bailiff gave a political interview to the island’s only newspaper, the Jersey Evening Post. This was published on Saturday 15th March 2008.
In this interview he strove to repeatedly defend the island’s political establishment. This included making a number of quite clearly false assertions – such as ‘the island’s authorities are doing all in their collective power to ensure the truth emerges and that wrongdoers are punished.’ Numerous examples show this to not be the case.
He went on to make the political assertion that all was well and safe in child protection in Jersey today. This claim is also demonstrably untrue and simply the regurgitation of the ‘spin’ of the Jersey political establishment.
Most interestingly, he asserted that the Courts in Jersey were capable of dealing with any matter – civil or criminal – arising out of the child abuse disaster.
It apparently not occurring to Mr Bailhache that by giving this political interview – in which he strove to defend the Jersey political establishment – he was simply demonstrating, through his own actions, the dangerous politicisation of his position.
Moreover – he was demonstrating clear prejudice in respect of a number of matters which will, inevitably, come before the Jersey Royal Court.
The concern shared by very many of the victims, whistle-blowers and witnesses I represent is that the Jersey judicial apparatus is politicised, conflicted and incapable of constituting an impartial tribunal.
Judicial proceedings must be – and must be seen to be – completely objective.
Any individual who, or entity that, has a clear interest in a case – or who has expressed prejudice prior to proceedings – cannot remotely be regarded as meeting the test of ‘the appearance of objectivity’.
Having overtly sided with – and defended – the Jersey establishment, essentially the same oligarchy responsible for the decades of concealed child abuse, he has demonstrated that he holds a highly prejudiced personal and political bias in these matters.
Though it should not need pointing out, this fact clearly eludes the Jersey prosecutory and judicial apparatus: namely that the Courts should be entirely indifferent to the considerations or the reputations of the government.
The Political victory of this or that faction should play precisely zero part in any consideration concerning the rule of law and the good administration of justice.
The law is the law. And the Courts should be coming to an objective judgement on the law – and the facts of each case.
If such adjudication proves profoundly embarrassing or problematic for a government – that is simply ‘tough’.
Yet in Jersey we have a Court system so incestuously entwined with day-to-day political considerations that it is simply not competent to properly administer justice when to do so would be damaging for the Jersey political establishment.
We need look no further than the highly political and prejudiced interview given by Jersey’s chief judge, Philip Bailhache, to the Jersey Evening Post.
The hopeless position of the Jersey judiciary in respect of the present child abuse disaster is thrown into even starker relief by the UK Crown Prosecution Service guidance “Judicial independence, open justice and advance sentence indication”, a short excerpt of which I quote here: –
Judicial independence is fundamental to the Rule of Law.
The integrity of the Criminal Justice System depends upon a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.
Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.
These principles must be followed by all CPS staff in the conduct of casework.”
In Jersey, the island’s judiciary has frequently committed itself to overt and explicit political positions, the effect of which is to have – by its own hand – rendered itself incapable of meeting the reasoned Principle quoted above.
The Jersey judiciary cannot meet the fundamental independence test required by the Rule of Law.
A politisised judiciary cannot deliver a “fair and public hearing by an impartial tribunal” – when the tribunal in question has demonstrated itself to not be independent of partisan political considerations.
It is plain – even to a lay-person – that “justice must not only be done – but must be seen to be done.”
The Jersey judiciary cannot remotely hope to meet such a requirement under the present circumstances. So hedged about with conflicts and contradictions are the Jersey judicial and prosecutory functions, that every faction – every party – be they victims of abuse – or those accused of abuse – already holds the indigenous Jersey apparatus in contempt.
This is a matter of such fundamental importance I will return to it later.
But the inescapable fact is that no ‘reasonable person on the Clapham omnibus’ could even begin to see the Jersey Courts as ‘disinterested’ parties – with no stake in the outcomes of criminal or civil actions arising from the child abuse disaster.
7: The Jersey Prosecution Service.
Precisely the same observations apply to the prosecutory service of the island.
Turning to the position of Attorney General and the Solicitor General. Both of these Crown-appointed Law Officers are classified as members of the States assembly – in which they are able to give speeches in the course of debates. So whilst they do not, however, possess a right to vote in debates – nevertheless, they frequently exercise tremendous influence in the course of debates; this by giving “legal” opinions – or frequently by simply making overtly partisan and political remarks.
In theory they are members of the States assembly so that they may give “legal advice” to members during debates.
But in addition to “advising” the island’s parliament in this way – they are also the legal advisors to the individual Ministries and departments of the States of Jersey.
Essentially, they provide day-to-day legal advice to all parts of the executive – as would jobbing lawyers to their private clients.
This is not to argue that the Jersey government should not be able to take legal advice – but we cannot but recognise the fact these London appointed, Crown Law Officers should not be involved in providing partisan legal advice to a political executive function.
Were this insurmountable conflict not sufficient argument, we must turn to another – even starker – example of the hopeless and indefensible position of the present arrangements in Jersey.
The island does not have an independent Director of Public Prosecutions. It does not have an independent Crown Prosecution Service.
Instead – quite extraordinarily – these functions are fulfilled by the Jersey Attorney General and Solicitor General.
No prosecution in the island’s Royal Court can take place without it first gaining approval from either one of these two individuals.
Consider just how absurd and unsustainable this arrangement is?
As explained above, the Attorney General and the Solicitor General are both, routinely involved – on a day-to-day basis – in giving general legal advice to departments of the States of Jersey – as though they were private lawyers advising private clients.
But these are the very same two individuals who must then determine whether prosecutions take place.
We have, therefore, the truly remarkable situation whereby these Law Officers may have been giving jobbing legal advice to a States of Jersey Ministry one week – only for a file to land on their desk the next week recommending that the department be prosecuted.
Such a profound conflict of interests would be disturbing under normal circumstances. But today – we are considering the deserved prosecution of a number of States of Jersey departments and States of Jersey employees in connection with the child abuse disaster.
And it will – ultimately – unless you use your constitutional powers to ensure the impartial Rule of Law in Jersey – be either the Jersey Attorney General or Solicitor General who will have to decide upon such prosecutions.
The same people who have been providing – often seriously defective – legal advice to departments in respect of child protection and welfare matters for many years.
It is true that the giving of advice to departments is usually split between the Attorney General and Solicitor General – thus had one been giving legal advice to a particular department which subsequently faced criminal action – the determination of the prosecution would be considered by the other.
But for a variety of reasons, this arrangement does not approach satisfying an ‘appearance of objectivity’ test.
Both Law Officers work from the same building, and often take advice themselves from the same Crown Advocates working in their department. Both individuals are close colleagues – and generally share an interest in providing legal protection for States departments, de facto political support – and, of course, they share a common interest in protecting each other’s professional reputations.
How realistic, it must be asked, is the prospect of one of these Law Officers prosecuting a States department whose policies and actions transpired to be ultra vires but had been legally advised that such polices were lawful by the other Law Officer?
To this toxic mix of conflicts of interest we must also recognise that both of these post-holders are deeply politicised and have frequently engaged in public support for the political establishment of Jersey.
Would – we must ask – the proverbial “reasonable person on the Clapham omnibus” be expected to view these arrangements as reliably objective?
The answer to that question is plainly ‘no’.
If we take as a model, the Code for Crown Prosecutors, as issued by the Crown Prosecution Service of the UK, we see, at section 2, General Principles:
“2.2 Crown Prosecutors must be fair, independent and objective. They must not let any personal views about ethnic or national origin, disability, sex, religious beliefs, political views or the sexual orientation of the suspect, victim or witness influence their decisions. They must not be affected by improper or undue pressure from any source.”
The entire child protection disaster in Jersey – in addition to being catastrophic for the victims – also threatens – and justifiably so – the integrity and standing of Jersey’s historic amalgam of legislature and judiciary. The present episode represents a crisis for the Jersey establishment of greater threat than the Nazi occupation of the island – which the traditional local elites seemed to survive remarkably easily.
Even without the extremely serious conflicts of interest I will explain later, no reasonable person could imagine the present prosecutory service in Jersey to be impartial and indifferent to the political consequences of this or that prosecution and conviction.
The prosecution service as presently configured in Jersey cannot even remotely approach the necessary ‘appearance of objectivity’.
Even under normal circumstances, the present – deeply politicised and conflicted – nature of both the prosecutory and judicial apparatus in Jersey clearly could not continue.
It would be an historic anachronism – one incompatible with the good, objective administration of justice and the rule of law – even during uncontroversial times.
With the island confronting the child abuse disaster – the worst peace-time crisis in Jersey’s 800 year history as a quasi-independent jurisdiction – it is not even faintly credible to imagine the present arrangements can suffice or continue.
In many respects, that the traditional authorities in Jersey cannot – or will not – see that fact simply serves as final proof of their inadequacy and inability to furnish the people of Jersey with the effective Rule of Law and the good administration of justice according to accepted standards of jurisprudence.
8: The Necessary Appearance of Objectivity.
Although the above factual descriptions of the conflictedness of the Jersey prosecutory and judicial authorities are sufficient of themselves, we must further illustrate the case with an examination of the established principles of natural justice.
It is well-established in all respectable jurisprudence that the administration of justice must be both impartial – and appear to be impartial.
Any person appearing before a Court should be able to have faith in the fact that the judge is independent of Government and equally that the judge is independent of the parties.
Historically a person has a right to a audi alterem partem, or a fair trial, meaning a trial which is independent, impartial and timely. This has long been a common law entitlement.
The fact that justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done has been given specific judicial approval in the English case of R v. Sussex Justices, ex p McCarthy  1 KB 256.
In this case, a solicitor, whose firm acted for a defendant in a civil action for damages, had also sat as a clerk to the Justices in respect of the criminal aspect of the case. Whilst it was not suggested that the solicitor/clerk had been biased – the mere appearance of conflict was unacceptable.
Lord Hewart CJ said:
“A long line of cases shows that it is ……of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done ……. Nothing is to be done which creates even a suspicion that there has been an improper inference with the course of justice.”
Should there still be any doubt about the absolutely essential nature of the appearance of objectivity – simply consider the case of Lord Hoffman. He was one of the Law Lords who sat to determine whether the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was able to be charged and prosecuted.
Lord Hoffman – it was revealed later – was a supporter of Amnesty International. This mere appearance of bias was sufficient to cause the decision to be set aside.
These fundamental principles are further described and enforced in the European Convention of Human Rights.
“Article 6 – Right to a fair trial
In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law….”
The inescapable facts are these:
(a) Given what might be perceived to be the political pressure upon the island’s authorities to secure convictions – many of the accused will – without doubt – argue that they cannot receive a fair hearing at the hands of the judiciary of Jersey – it being so entwined with the political considerations of the day.
(b) Victims could also – justifiably – be of the view that prosecutions of those who harmed them will be confined to only the most extreme cases – this in order to minimise ‘reputational’ damage to the Jersey establishment.
(c) Plaintiffs in civil actions for compensation may, with good grounds, view the Jersey judicial processes biased against finding for them – or awarding them sufficient damages against the States of Jersey.
And let there be no misunderstanding about the seriousness of, or degree of, conflictedness of the Jersey prosecutory and judicial authorities.
For it is already a matter of public record, that Jersey’s Attorney General has advised the Chief Minister of Jersey to not apologise to any of the abuse survivors as this may increase the quantum of damages they may be awarded.
And let us remember – this is the same Attorney General who will be determining whether prosecutions should take place.
A man already committed to a partisan political position.
9: Democracy and the Good Administration of Justice.
It will, no doubt, be argued by the Jersey authorities – and if things run true-to-form, certain advisers in Whitehall – that if these problems with the administration of justice exist in Jersey – if its present judicial and legislative arrangements need changing – or if there were public demand here for such change – then the island’s government; its parliament, can make those changes itself – if it so wishes.
That, it is claimed, would be the normal course of democratic self-determination.
There is, of course, an obvious and fatal flaw in such an argument. For it assumes that democracy – and the good administration of justice – are the one-and-the-same thing.
They are not.
The ‘democratic’ will of the mass – of potentially the mob – can very easily be opposed to objectivity, the rule of law, the human rights of minorities and the good administration of justice.
It may be that 100 people would wish to lynch 1 person – the ‘democratic’ will in action. But that ‘majority’ decision would be unlawful, unjust and barbaric.
Thus the political establishment of Jersey may decide to maintain “tradition”, and not embrace the impartiality of the good administration of justice. And may even have public support for such a position. But that ‘democratic’ will may result in oppression and trampling of the rights of individuals to justice. A denial of such things as a ‘fair hearing before an impartial tribunal’.
It is abundantly clear that there is not the remotest possibility of the Jersey political and judicial establishment agreeing, of its own initiative and free-will, to introduce such changes as an effective separation of powers.
We must, therefore, conclude that the United Kingdom authorities cannot rely upon an argument to the effect that “if change is needed, the island’s government can enact such change.”
Both the good name of the Crown, and the United Kingdom’s obligations under the ECHR, require that London take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the good, objective and impartial administration of justice – the effective Rule of Law – quite regardless of the political whim of the Jersey establishment.
10: The United Kingdom and jus cogens and erga omnes.
The case, the right, the power of the UK authorities to intervene is already categorically established, for the reasons described above. But even if the historic and constitutional case for Crown power in Jersey – especially in respect of the protection of its subjects and that of the good name of the Crown itself – was not so clearly established, we could consider the legal principles of erga omnes, which is argued by some to confer an obligation upon a state to the broader community of states. I think it fair to argue that the systemic rape, battery and torture of vulnerable children – possibly even their murder – must give justification to invoking erga omnes.
A similar argument applies to the legal principle of jus cogens – or the ‘compelling law’ that nation-states may be expected to honour. Whilst there may be arguments as to the applicability of jus cogens to particular circumstances – if jus cogens bears any credibility at all – it must surely do so in the case of a need to act to punish and prevent the abuse, battery and possible murder of vulnerable children.
11: Suspects who are members of Jersey’s judiciary and Prosecution Service.
We must always bear in mind the profound seriousness and truly horrifying nature of what has taken place.
Vulnerable children – already in need for a variety of reasons – used, abused, tortured – and even possibly murdered; children who were helpless – and yet were subjected to the most foul and despicable crimes.
It is clear that the scale and persistence of the abuse which has taken place in Jersey is such that it cannot be viewed as an aberration; some isolated crimes carried out occasionally by small, secretive groups of abusers.
That the abuse and suffering of these children was able to carry on for decade after decade after decade must force us to conclude that some, fundamental, structural failing within the island’s ‘checks and balances’ enabled the concealment to take place over generations.
Whilst public attention has been focused upon the police investigation of actual abuses, it should not be forgotten that the police are also enquiring into the concealment of abuse; the failure to report abuses – and the failure to punish those guilty of abuse.
I have been able to contribute to the police enquiry by furnishing them with evidence – and making formal statements to them in respect of what are a number of criminal offences; for example:
(A) Perverting the Course of Justice.
(B) Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice.
(C) Misconduct in Public Office.
Whilst apprehending and punishing the abusers is, clearly, the priority – we must not lose sight of the question: “how were all of these terrible things able to persist for such a long period of time – and 95% of the offences go unreported and unpunished?”
For, in many respects, this question is the most fundamental. If we are to recognise and honestly accept the ‘cultural’ failings of the island’s public administration which led to the atrocities taking place and going unpunished – there can be no immunity from scrutiny; no deferential failure to challenge those in possession of great power – if those people have questions they must answer.
And many of them do.
The following senior figures – Crown appointed judges and prosecutors – each have well-evidenced, more than prima facie cases to answer in respect of one – or more – of the offences I describe above.
(A) Sir Philip Bailhache, the Bailiff; presently head of the island’s judiciary and the President of its legislative assembly, ‘the States’. Formerly the Attorney General, and thus then head of the island’s Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions.
(B) Michael Birt, presently Deputy Bailiff, presently deputy head of the island’s judiciary and deputy President of its legislative assembly. Also a former Attorney General, thus then head of the island’s Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions.
(C) William Bailhache, presently Attorney General and head of the island’s Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions. Also the brother of the present Bailiff.
(D) Francis Hamon, presently a judge of Jersey’s Royal Court, and former Deputy Bailiff. A Governor at Victoria College during an extensive abuse episode.
(E) John Le Breton, ‘Jurat’ – a lay-judge – of Jersey’s Royal Court – formerly Vice-Principle of Victoria College during an extensive abuse episode.
As explained above – a fundamental concern that any civilised person must have is the question of the cover-ups and the concealments of abuse.
For it is that issue which makes the Jersey child abuse disaster so uniquely persistent and appalling in modern western democracies.
I will describe briefly the culpability of the five, above-named senior figures from the Jersey judicial and prosecutory apparatus.
I will then go onto describe and affirm the fact that these matters are being investigated by the Police Force.
The Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache, head of Jersey’s judiciary. Potential Criminal Offences.
Philip Bailhache cannot be seen to be objective. He is conflicted. The reasons for this are several. He is one of the individuals who need to face questions over his past failure to protect children from paedophiles. For example, when he was Attorney General, he failed to take the appropriate action to prevent the paedophile Roger Holland from joining the St. Helier honorary police. Holland then went on to abuse children whilst a parish police officer.
This gross failure must amount to a conflict of interest so severe as to make his position untenable. And that is to take a charitable view.
Philip Bailhache should face a charge of Misconduct in Public Office for this dereliction of duty alone.
The Bailiff, Philip Bailhache, was also the Chairman of the Board of Governors of Victoria College during the early phases of the child abuse which eventually lead to the conviction of Jervis-Dykes. The paedophilic activities of this man were brought to the attention of the School leadership again and again – yet he was allowed to remain in post and committing abuse for years before – eventually – being arrested and charged. Again, this is a matter that should be re-investigated. No person is above the Law. The Bailiff should be charged with both Perverting the Course of Justice, and with breaching his legal requirements to protect children from harm, as described in the Children (Jersey) Law 1969.
Philip Bailhache also unlawfully prevented my parliamentary response to the dismisal motion against me from being published. He also failed to declare a conflict of interest in this matter, as some of the evidence he was suppressing related to the child abuse offences committed at Victoria College when he was Chairman of the Board of Governors.
In similar vein, he unlawfully and undemocratically stopped me from delivering a speech of empathy for abuse survivors.
The Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt, Deputy Head of Jersey’s Judiciary: Potential Criminal Offences.
The previous Attorney General – now Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt – exhibited all of the politicised and conflicted behaviour I described earlier. As is plain from the now widely distributed Sharp report, the now Jurat Le Breton, who, at the time was Vice-Principle of Victoria College, should have been prosecuted at the time of the child abuse scandal at Victoria College. Just as should the Principle, Jack Hydes. Just as should Francis Hamon, a Governor of the school at the time and a person who went on to become Deputy Bailiff. A person who still remains a senior Judge in Jersey’s Royal Court.
Another individual who, without question, should have faced prosecution is Piers Baker, the man described in the Sharp report engaging in wilful attempts to obstruct justice – and who – infamously – said to the Police at the time of the investigation that paedophilia was “teachers perks”.
Whilst an overwhelming case could be made for the prosecution of Le Breton, Hamon, Hydes and Baker for Perverting the Course of Justice, an even more relevant Law, the breaking of which renders each man answerable to a Court, was the then current Children (Jersey) Law 1969.
I quote Article 9 here:
“9 Cruelty to children under 16
(1) If any person who has attained the age of 16 years and has the custody, charge or care of any child under that age wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes him or her, or causes or procures or permits him or her to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed, in a manner likely to cause him or her unnecessary suffering or injury to health (including injury to or loss of sight, or hearing, limb, or organ of the body, and mental derangement), he or she shall be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”
Le Breton, Hamon, Hydes and Baker should have been prosecuted for breaking this part of the Law. Unambiguously so. At best, all four of these creatures ‘caused’ or ‘permitted’ the children to be ‘assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed in a manner likely to cause him or her unnecessary suffering or injury to health’.
No such prosecutions took place. It is plain that the then Attorney General – now Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt – placed the “reputational” considerations of the Jersey Establishment above the proper protection of children – and above the Rule of Law.
But this was not the only example of political considerations overriding the Rule of Law. The then Attorney General, Michael Birt, also abandoned a prosecution for another set of very serious offences against children.
The case I refer to was the prosecution of Mrs Jane Marie Maguire and Mr Alan William Maguire. The Act of Court records that the prosecution was abandoned on the 20th November 1998.
“Her Majesty’s Attorney General declared that he abandoned the prosecution against Alan William Maguire and Jane Marie Maguire on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support it.
“The Court therefore discharged the said Alan William Maguire and Jane Marie Maguire from the prosecution and, by virtue of Article 2(1) (c) of the Costs in Criminal Cases (Jersey) Law, 1961, ordered the payment out of public funds of the costs of the defence”.
And it is the battery, torture and abuse of children, as committed by these two, which is part of the subject matter of BBC Panorama, scheduled to be broadcast on Monday 31st March 2008.
The Maguires were routinely beating, abusing through grotesque punishments, neglecting and treating with great cruelty many of the children that passed through the group-home they used to run for the then Education Committee, which body had responsibility for child “protection” at the relevant time (1980s to mid-1990s).
When I was Minister for Health & Social Services, just one of the many issues I recently had drawn to my attention by whistle-blowers was the case of the Maguires. I requested access to the relevant files.
I read the two very substantial lever arch files and one smaller ring-binder file. The evidence contained in these files is absolutely compelling. Many witness statements, affidavits of victims, statements from other members of staff, an “internal” report from 1990 by the Children’s Service, which concluded that the actions complained of were happening – and, essentially, a catalogue of utter savagery against the children.
Notwithstanding this plain and evidenced conclusion reached in 1990 – 8 years before the police came to know of the crimes – the Children’s Service of the day failed to inform the police of the abuse – instead allowing Mrs McGuire to “retire” from running the group-home – and instead to come and work in the Family Development Centre.
Purely through happenstance, the States of Jersey Police became aware of the abuse episode – 8 years later – in 1998.
The McGuires were investigated and charged.
Yet Michael Birt, the then Attorney General, asserted, as in the record of Court I quote above, that there was “insufficient evidence” to continue the prosecution.
But I have read the files of evidence. That evidence describes many children being routinely – over a period of years – beaten with fists, implements and other items which were used as weapons against them. They were frequently made to eat soap. They were held down and made to drink Dettol. One child had his head smashed violently against a bunk bed frame. One of the part-time support staff witnessed “Big Al” Maguire throw a child a distance of about 7 feet across a room to impact against the wall because the child was not tidying up to Maguire’s satisfaction. Psychological and emotional cruelty and abuse were routine. Female child residents were sexually abused by Mr Maguire.
Most of these offences were evidenced, witnessed by former victims or junior staff members – and yet the then Attorney General, Michael Birt, claims to have had “insufficient evidence” to carry through a prosecution.
The decision of Birt to not proceed with the prosecution was a straightforward Perversion of the Course of Justice.
Clearly – to have prosecuted the Maguires would have been to expose to outrage and contempt a States of Jersey department for permitting the abuse to continue for a decade – the 1980s – and to have acted unlawfully in not informing the police the instant the abuse came to the department’s attention. Further, the department would have been viewed with even greater contempt and disgust by the public when it became known that Mrs Maguire was kept in employment by the department for some years afterwards – working in the Family Development Centre! It would also have meant exposing to contempt and disgrace a Jersey Establishment icon, Iris Le Feuvre, then President of the relevant Committee, who happily went along with the cover-up in 1990 and, moreover, wrote a quite sickening letter of “thanks” to the Maguires upon their “retirement”.
It is plain that the failure to see through the prosecution in this case represents a complete breakdown in the Rule of Law. An abandonment of justice in order to protect the “reputation” – such as it is – of the Jersey Establishment. The victims of the Maguires were denied justice.
Birt also – though this is incidental – endorsed and supported an illegal departure from due process as described in the States of Jersey Law when the Jersey Council of Ministers – fast-tacked – a dismissal meeting against me – giving me less than five days notice of the meeting date – and only supplying the ‘case’ against me less than 24 hours before the meeting. I was, incidentally, being dismissed for publicly stating that I had no confidence in Jersey’s child protection systems – this, apparently, constituting the heinous offence of – “undermining staff moral”.
But if the above-described events were not appalling enough – the habits and approach of Michael Birt remain – to this day – despicable – and truly extraordinary.
The States of Jersey Police Force made public their covert investigation into historic child abuse in November last year. They said at the time they were examining an historic range of abuse episodes, but in particular, they were examining abuse at Haute de le Garren – and the Jersey Sea Cadets.
The Sea Cadets being of particular interest as certain members of staff had been convicted of child abuse in individual cases some years ago.
The Police applied for a warrant to enter, search and remove evidence from the building. The judge they had to apply to was Michael Birt.
He rejected their application for the warrant.
The word “astonishing” doesn’t get close to describing this ruling.
Here were the police – already heavily committed to an investigation into historic child abuse; an investigation they had been conducting covertly for about a year; and here was an institution that was one of their two principle targets – and an institution which “had form” so to speak when it comes to child abuse in Jersey.
And the Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt – second-in-command of Jersey’s judiciary – refuses to give the police a warrant.
Birt should be charged and tried for these offences. Indeed – I have made formal statements to the States of Jersey Police in this regard – as I will explain below.
William Bailhache, present Attorney General and brother of Bailiff, Philip Bailhache.
As far as the Attorney General, William Bailhache is concerned, some time ago when I was President of the then Health & Social Services Committee, I sought from him (and I still have the correspondence) the full police report and its six appendices into the child abuse scandal at Victoria College.
My reason for needing this information was that I was examining what went wrong in that case, whether the then current law was defective, how it compared to our present Children Law – and whether what we were doing today – in the light of the Bichard Report – was adequate.
It proved immensely difficult for me to obtain anything from the Attorney General. After much persuasion he eventually sent me a version of the police report – with no appendices – but the version was so redacted as to be utterly useless. Indeed, it contained far less information than that contained in the Sharp report – which he knew I possessed already. I was not, therefore, properly able to consider this key material with a view to ascertaining what went wrong and why only one prosecution was mounted. The Attorney General’s actions in behaving in this way actively obstructed me in my lawful work under the Children (Jersey) Law 1969 and the Children (Jersey) Law 2002 in that I was not able to carry forward my investigation into improvements in child protection legislation and policies. This obstruction of the lawful duties – and clear obligations – of my then Committee for Health & Social Services, as defined in the Children (Jersey) Laws, was criminal.
But again – things get worse.
Even in the course of the last year – when issues of child protection and child abuse have been of paramount public concern in Jersey – the Attorney General, William Bailhache – has received reports from the police describing charges for child abuse offences – and he – astonishingly – has refused to prosecute – on the supposed grounds that to do so “would not be in the public interest”.
This conduct also has the appearance of being criminal, in that it may be a Perversion of the Course of Justice.
A further, insurmountable conflict – is this. It is plain that many States departments have – for very many years – been breaking various laws in respect of the care, protection and welfare of children. Obviously and inescapably so.
Therefore one of the most pressing and obvious questions is this: why has neither the Attorney General nor the Solicitor General ever correctly advised the relevant departments that their practices were unlawful? Why have no departments been prosecuted? It is plain that much – perhaps even a great deal of – the culpability for the States of Jersey engaging in decades of policies which were unlawful lays with the Attorney General and the Solicitor General or their predecessors.
Therefore, for the Attorney General and the Solicitor General to undertake any widespread prosecution of States departments would be to – effectively – put themselves on trial as well. Possibly as defendants – certainly reputationaly.
This is not an even faintly credible or sustainable situation.
Francis Hamon, Commissioner in Jersey’s Royal Court and former Deputy Bailiff.
Francis Hamon was, infamously, a senior figure in the Victoria College Board of Governors during the sustained abuse episode which took pace throughout much of the 1990s.
As is described in the Sharp report, the Principle, Jack Hydes, informed Hamon ‘during a squash game’ that he was receiving complaints of abuse. He asked Hamon what he should do about it.
Hamon advised him to do nothing, and it would all be forgotten about.
This was a further, unambiguous criminal offence – both a Perversion of the Course of Justice, and a breach of the Children (Jersey) Law 1969.
Hamon, like Hydes, Le Breton and Baker should have been prosecuted.
Instead, their friend Michael Birt failed to do so.
John Le Breton, ‘Jurat’ of Jersey’s Royal Court.
Again, as is well described and evidenced in the Sharp report, Le Breton was Vice-Principle of Victoria College during the abuse episode. He – like other senior figures – was aware of the complaints of abuse.
Not only did he fail to take the necessary action to protect the children – after allowing things to continue for some years until the complaints became too serious to ignore – he, along with Hydes, pro-actively attempted to humiliate and intimidate two of the victims into withdrawing their complaints.
Again – Le Breton should, Like Hamon, have been prosecuted for Perverting the Course of Justice and breaching the Children (Jersey) Law 1969.
Le Breton’s position also has the effect of rendering all of the remaining 11 Jurats conflicted. None could be considered sufficiently remote and impartial in these matters. All are friends and colleagues of the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff; friends and colleagues of the Attorney General and Solicitor General. But in particular, all are friends and colleagues of Jurat John Le Breton.
It is well established in respectable jurisprudence that people cannot be a part of a jury if they personally know any of the key actors in a case.
All of the Jurats fail this test.
Moreover, each and every one of the Jurats is drawn from the traditional ranks of the island’s Establishment. As detailed above – an Establishment that puts its own interests – the protection of its “image” and of its customary powers – over and above the pure consideration of the Rule of Law, should the Jersey oligarchy be threatened in any way.
12: Status of investigation into the above-described suspects.
In respect of the above-described potential criminal offences, I have made formal complaints to the Police Force.
I have furnished the Police with documented evidence which supports the case of criminal conduct.
Given the profound seriousness of the matters, the Police Officer leading the investigation in Jersey, Lenny Harper, commissioned two officers from a United Kingdom force to come to Jersey and take statements from me, this in order to avoid any “political” difficulties for his investigation – as certain elements in Jersey have already tried to damage and obstruct the work of the Police.
I gave two statements on successive days – one of two hours and the other of four hours duration.
I have signed both statements and confirmed to the Police that I am entirely ready to give evidence and be cross-examined under oath when matters come to Court.
Since giving the statements, Lenny Harper has confirmed to me in writing the following:
(A) I have given the statements.
(B) They were extensive.
(C) They are signed.
(D) He is in possession of those signed statements.
(E) That the complaints made are going to be rigorously investigated.
As described above, the Jersey judicial and prosecutory services would be hopelessly conflicted in any event.
But to add to that fact we must now note that the key individuals within that apparatus are – in fact – suspects – in respect of Perverting the Course of Justice and Misconduct in Public Office.
It is, of course, feasible they will be acquitted – but until such time they cannot act in any role within the administration of justice.
13: Actions sought from you.
The people I am representing – including many dozens of victims and whistle-blowers – are asking you to use your constitutional powers to secure for them – and this community – certain fundamental protections.
We appreciate the historic, constitutional position of Jersey. We certainly wish it to continue to be a self-governing jurisdiction.
But given that we are a Crown Dependency – and that the good name of the Crown is the foundation upon which the administration of justice in Jersey is built – all we ask is that those administering justice in our island, as long as they use the name of the Crown – are required to perform to a standard worthy of such association.
What we seek is, by no stretch of the imagination, ‘revolutionary’ or ‘radical’.
We seek good governance.
We seek the effective Rule of Law.
We seek the good administration of justice.
We seek an independent prosecution service – one free of conflicts and political taint.
We seek an independent judiciary – one free of conflicts and political taint.
We wish it to be recognised that in a small, self-governing jurisdiction the ‘checks and balances’ provided by the judiciary are even more important than they would be in a large nation state.
We ask that, as a matter of urgency, you require the Jersey prosecutory and judicial authorities to accept the fact of their insurmountable conflictedness in respect of any matter – civil or criminal – arising out of the Jersey child abuse disaster.
We ask that you – or a senior figure from the British judiciary who has no prior connection with Jersey – appoint independent prosecutors from the UK to consider and lead any prosecutions arising from this episode.
We ask that you – or a senior figure from the British judiciary – appoint judges from the UK, with no prior connection with Jersey, to hear any case – civil or criminal – which may arise from this episode.
We ask that you give serious consideration to furnishing the Jersey Courts with juries drawn from the United Kingdom to hear any trial that may require a jury.
We ask that, by taking these actions, you ensure that any prosecutions or civil actions are compatible with the United Kingdom’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights in that they constitute a ‘fair hearing before an impartial tribunal’.
These actions are essential and urgent, given the imminent nature of some of the cases. There is not, therefore, time for a protracted round of argument and negotiation with the Jersey authorities.
To ensure justice in the Jersey child protection disaster – prompt and forthright action on your part is needed.
We ask that, in the fullness of time, you require the Jersey authorities to establish a permanent separation of powers, so that this island may always rely upon an impartial and non-politicised prosecutory and judicial system.
14: Summary and Conclusions.
I apologise for the length of this report; but by way of mitigation I hope you would recognise the huge degree of suffering which has taken place in Jersey over a period of decades.
In the course of the last year, I have gradually built-up contacts with many victims, got to know them, and have heard of the awful things that have blighted their lives.
All they are seeking – and all I am seeking on their behalf – is true justice and the effective Rule of Law.
We hope to hear from you soon, and thank you for taking time to read this document.
Senator Stuart Syvret
States of Jersey.