HABEAS CORPUS:

ANATOMY OF A POLITICAL FARCE.

A Short Chronology

Of the Unintended Destruction

Of a Fundamental Freedom.

Regular readers of this blog will understand that my opinions of the Jersey media are not great – to put it “politely” (I have to practice “politeness” – it apparently counting for far more than the truth in the political environment of Jersey.) But praise where it is due, (which isn’t often, OK) the Jersey Evening Post of Saturday 14th June led with a story concerning an hitherto unnoticed piece of subordinate legislation which had been quietly slipped through as a ‘Ministerial Order’.

Many pieces of primary legislation contain within them the power to make subordinate legislation. In Jersey, subordinate legislation takes the form of Orders.

Primary legislation has to go through the island’s parliament for approval. But subordinate legislation can be made by the relevant Minister without further reference to the States assembly. It is the case that any Orders enacted by a Minister can be challenged in the assembly – but this happens rarely – as the purpose of the Ministerial power to make subordinate legislation is designed to enable very minor and non-contentious legal changes to be made without the delay, expense and bureaucracy of having to return to parliament every time.

So what was the Ministerial Order the JEP reported on yesterday? A change in parking fine rates, perhaps? Different procedures for obtaining a dog licence? Maybe a stipulation on the colour of traffic cones?

No.

The effect of the Order was nothing less than the destruction of the near millennia old fundamental principle of Habeas Corpus.

‘Habeas Corpus’ is a Latin phrase which is roughly translated as ‘give up the body’. Which in plain English is taken to mean that no person (body) may be held in custody without necessary and lawful justification and authority – and against which there is a right of appeal. This right to not be held in custody without just cause is most famously expressed in the Magna Carta – or Great Charter – of 1215.

To say that this expression of such a fundamental freedom is powerfully defended in democratic societies would be an understatement. For example – in the United Kingdom, there has just been an immense political controversy over a law change which now enables the detention without trial of people for a maximum period of 42 days.

So controversial was this change that the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, had to engage in a load of seedy deals with other minor political parties in order to narrowly get it through the House of Commons. So strongly do some people feel about such a dramatic restriction on a fundamental right that the Shadow Home Secretary has gone so far as to resign his parliamentary seat in order to fight the resultant by-election for the principle of civil liberties.

But in the strange parallel universe of Jersey, we learnt from the JEP on Saturday that Habeas Corpus had been dissolved – unnoticed – by the back-door – via subordinate legislation in the form of a Ministerial Order – with zero parliamentary discussion – let alone any public debate.

But don’t panic – instead of the stealthy dawning of some crypto-fascist new age – what we are faced with is the tedious predictability of yet another States of Jersey cock-up.

The error having been recognised – the contentious Order will be rescinded by the Home Affairs Minister tomorrow.

Had the Minister not expressed a willingness to rescind the order, I had given notice to the secretariat of the Jersey parliament – the States Greffe – that I would be tabling a motion tomorrow morning to have the Order rescinded.

Fortunately, that won’t now be necessary.

But what happened – why did it happen – when did it happen – and how did it happen?

And what was the true – yet unspoken – reason for introducing such a change?

I know the answer to this last question – and that answer speaks volumes about the state of public administration in Jersey.

I will tell you that answer at the end of this post.

But let us first examine the chronology of events during the last 36 hours.

The Jersey Evening Posts breaks the story in its Saturday morning edition.

I, in common with an awful lot of other people, read it and think ‘my God! Have the Council of Ministers finally taken leave of their collective senses?

I come to my computer to begin researching the matter and laying plans to challenge it politically.

I respond to the first e-mail I opened – amongst dozens of e-mails from concerned members of the public.

In this gentleman’s e-mail, sent at 12.44 p.m, he wrote:

“This news has left me absolutely speechless. The failure to publish a draft or to consult interested parties has, in my opinion, severely undermined the position of the Home Affairs Minister and has struck another blow to the States Assembly which is already in dire straits in the eyes of many of the populace.”

I reply to him and all other recipients of his e-mail at 13.20, in which I said:

“I too share your shock and alarm at this measure. We have seen the profound controversy caused in the United Kingdom concerning 42 day detention without charge. Yet here we see a measure introduced which is even more extreme – and introduced without any public discussion – let alone parliamentary scrutiny by the States.

This is one of the most profoundly misjudged political moves I have seen in years.

Senator Kinnard is a recipient of this e-mail. Let me ask her now whether she sees the error of this decision and will repeal it?

If she does not do so, I will take a proposition to the States seeking to rescind. That would be a debate that Senator Kinnard would have precisely zero chance of winning. So let us hope she sees sense and does not waste more of the assembly’s time.

There is certainly a debate to be had about society’s response to threats of terrorism – but the key point is just that: a debate.

Neither the public nor their elected representatives have had that debate. Yet we are expected to just accept the destruction of Habeas Corpus? It’s madness.”

At 13.22 I gave formal notice, via e-mail, to the States Greffe that on Monday morning I would be tabling a proposition to rescind unless Senator Kinnard, the Home Affairs Minister, agreed to voluntarily rescind the Order.

13.33: I forward to all States members the e-mail to the Greffe, and say:

“The e-mail correspondence I forward below is self-explanatory.

I have asked Senator Kinnard to voluntarily agree to withdraw her changes to legalisation which allows indefinite detention without charge.

I have given formal notice to the Greffe that unless I hear from Senator Kinnard by Sunday evening at the latest that she agrees to withdraw the change, I will lodge a proposition on Monday morning to seek to rescind.

I very much hope that this will not be necessary and that Senator Kinnard will see sense. The States are at such a low position now, we have to ask ourselves do we need yet more chaos heaped upon the island’s polity? I think not.

I would hope that members would add to my request to Senator Kinnard that she withdraw this appaling legislative instrument.”

At 17.31 the Chief Executive of the Home Affairs Department, Steven Austin-Vautier, e-mails all States members with an explanation of the change in which he cites the old and new version of the law – along with a singularly non-convincing attempt to suggest that the material change was insignificant. I reproduce in full his e-mail here as the two different versions he cites will enable you to gain an understanding of the legislative provision – and what the concern was:

“Dear States Members,

I am sending this advice to Members as the Minister for Home Affairs is out of the Island.

Members have been understandably concerned about the headline and article in the JEP today. The amendment made by R&O 69/2008 introduces no new powers for the Police. It makes a minor amendment to Code C of the Police Procedures and Criminal Evidence (Codes of Practice)(Jersey) Order 2004.

The version of Code C prior to the Order which amended it said:

” The detention of any person for a period in excess of 24 hours must be authorised by an officer of the rank of Chief Inspector or above, and the custody record will be endorsed to that effect. The officer conducting that review (my emphasis) will endorse the custody record and may authorise further detention up to a further 12 hours from the time of the review”

The amendment made by Order says:

” The detention of any person for a period in excess of 24 hours must be authorised by an officer of the rank of Chief Inspector or above, and the custody record will be endorsed to that effect by that officer. An officer of the rank of Chief Inspector (my emphasis) or above may authorise a further period of detention of up to 12 hours from the time of the review and may conduct further reviews and authorise further periods of such detention.”

The only material change that has taken place is that any chief inspector can carry out the detention review as opposed to the officer conducting the original review. This was a measure requested for practical reasons to give more flexibility to the review process.

The JEP article implies that Police powers have been extended without consultation and links the minor amendment to the law with the current controversy in the UK concerning detention for up to 42 days in connection with terrorism offences.

There are other procedural aspects to this Order which will be looked into once I have the opportunity to discuss this with staff during next week. I trust this clarifies the nature of the Order made by the Minister.

Steven

S W Austin-Vautier
Chief Officer Home Affairs”

I’m pretty sure my readers will have rapidly spotted the fatal flaw in both the explanation and the new legislation cited above. I replied to Mr. Austin-Vautier at 17.46. I reproduce my e-mail in full here:

“Steven

I accept that the power to introduce such measures was included in PPACE – however, I feel your explanation here really dodges around a rather crucial point.

The original provision said: “up to a further 12 hours from the time of the review”.

The new provision says: “up to 12 hours from the time of the review and may conduct further reviews and authorise further periods of such detention.”

It seems to me – please explain if I’m missing something – that actually, this is the material change which is causing concern. That change being from ‘up to 12 hours’ to ‘further periods of such detention’.

If my interpretation is correct – the officer or officers in question could carry on authorising ‘further periods’ of detention indefinitely.

If this interpretation is incorrect, could you please explain why?

Thanks

Stuart Syvret.”

At 18.35 Mr Austin-Vautier replied to all States members in response to my e-mail above. Here is what he said:

“In reply to the points raised by Senator Syvret, I can see how one would arrive at that in interpretation; however, the operative phrase is “….from the time of the review” , which means the last review (I have checked this understanding with the Law Draftsman this afternoon). In effect, this means that, in theory, the Code allows more than one 12 hour extension. In practice, I am aware that the Police operate to the standards laid down in the UK which invariably means a maximum of 36 hours.”

In this e-mail the crucial point is conceded – namely that the 12 hour period of detention can be reviewed – and then renewed – indefinitely.

This could, indeed, mean that a person could be held without charge for five years, say – just so long as the relevant police officer reviewed and renewed the detention order every 12 hours.

At 18.44, Mr Austin-Vautier again e-mailed all States members to inform us that, fortunately, the Minster would rescind and re-consider. Here is what he wrote.

“Dear Members,

Notwithstanding the clarification provided this afternoon, the Minister for Home Affairs has discussed the position with the Deputy Chief Minister and it has been decided to withdraw the order to allow time for further consultation on the matter.”

The Order was made some days ago – but had gone unnoticed until Saturday. Then – in the course of one day we move from the destruction of Habeas Corpus being reported by the JEP – to securing agreement to rescind the Order in question at 6.45 on Saturday afternoon.

So what on Earth happened? Was this some neo-Stalinist plot to crush liberty?

No; – in many respects it would be quite a relief if the Jersey establishment were able to exhibit such intelligence.

The tedious mundanity of the situation is that a simple – yet profound – error was made in the drafting of the Order. The effect of allowing indefinite detention without charge – via the mechanism of 12-hour reviews – was unintentional.

Now – I said earlier I would explain the true reason behind this attempt to modify the law.

And it wasn’t the fault of the police – just to dispose of the inevitable Jersey establishment assault on the States Police because of the force’s investigations into the child abuse disaster.

So what was, then, the intended – real – purpose of the law change?

It was to burden the police with the responsibility for detaining people without charge over longer periods of time – such as long weekends. Why?

Because in Jersey – the magistrates and the lawyers have a rabid antipathy to working at weekends.

It is as simple as that.

This change, essentially, meant that the magistrates and the detained person’s lawyers could remain at their bridge club – or playing their round of golf – without the oh-so-very tiresome business of having to deal with a person’s basic rights and freedoms during a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon.

Don’t you just love public administration in Jersey?

Stuart.

54 thoughts on “HABEAS CORPUS:

  1. st-ouennais

    Stuart,
    That is a far more benign reason than I had feared, as I wrote on my blog. I am somewhat relieved should your explanation be the case. Nevertheless the fact that the officer even atempted to spin it as unimportant is pretty disgraceful. The enormity of the consequences to the individual of indefinite detantion are far too severe to be dismissed so lightly.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I don’t think it was a mistake or a misunderstanding. I think people in authority were testing the water to see if anyone would notice this draconian measure. Having a bit of ambiguity was a way to back track if found out without losing face. “Sorry we didn’t mean it to come across that way everybody”.

    I think they will now go away and look to other things that they can get in without people noticing, or complaining too much about. Testing and probing is a good way to slip things through the net. They can thus use the fallback position of we didn’t realise this or that could happen. Do they really think everyone is daft?

    Nothing happens by mistake there is always a reason for things. Do people really think that this law was an error, that no one in authority realised the implications of this and, that no one checked such an important law as individual rights?

    IF it can be proven beyond doubt that this was a genuine mistake then these people shouldn’t be there, they are beyond useless. This is also very worrying for the future of Jersey.
    So come on which one is it?

    Reply
  3. Stuart Syvret

    Re: Mistake or Misunderstanding.

    Sadly – I do think it was an actual mistake. I know from my time as a Committee President and Minister that the judiciary and the lawyers generally hated working on weekends – and were always trying to find a means of getting out of it.

    And like I said in the post, to believe that this was some foul scheme to crush human rights, I think is to attribute to much intelligence to the Jersey establishment – and to underestimate their capacity for incompetence & stupidity.

    Think about it: if they wanted to try and sneak through the destruction of Habeous corpus – in the hope no one noticed – do you really think they would choose now as the time? When they are under microscopic scrutiny from everyone because of the incredible degree of incompetence they’ve shown? And facing rescindment motions, censure motions and votes of no confidence?

    No clever scheming could account for this – the only explanation is utter stupidity.

    “They shouldn’t be there, they are beyond useless”.

    Sadly – that’s the awful truth.

    Stuart

    Reply
  4. Dan

    Thanks for explaining what happened in good detail.

    I find it quite worrying that an individual can tweak and adjust our laws in this way.

    Makes me wonder what else they have slipped under the radar in the past.

    Reply
  5. Advocatus Diaboli

    Evening all,

    Most odd, when I scratched the laptop screen as I read Stuart’s report on the ‘Order’ I saw ‘Enabling Act 1933′ under it. Perhaps the Channel Islands’ unsavoury past is catching up. 😉

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Good news that the removal of rights was unintented.

    How on earth did the Order get to the Minister without checking it?

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    I also have to offer congrats to the JEP on their coverage of this issue and also some words of praise for SS in an article by Anna Plunkett Cole, could it be “they” are actually aware now of their bias stance towards anything that is not middle of the road..one can but hope.
    Wendy Kinnard spoke on the BBC phone In to explain the error – what came about was not intended merely another error to join the catalogue! Whatever was intended clearly was not achieved and I see it as another cock up by a law officer……………when will people become accountble on this island is it too much to hope for ……..I am sorry to say it but the parliament of this island are a JOKE……………but no one is laughing anymore!

    Reply
  8. Stuart Syvret

    Zoompad

    I have read the comment you submitted, and I’m not sure I should post it. Not because I object to it, but because I feel it contains too much of the false information you’ve found in your medical records.

    I can understand how you feel, but you need to think carefully before placing such personal information in the public domain, even when it’s false and you’re angry about it.

    Maybe you could revise the comment?

    Stuart

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Stuart,

    Thank you so much, I understand. I am so frightened, I’m terrified because of next Monday. Thank you for not posting it – it’s very kind of you to look out for my best interests and I really appreciate that so much.

    Zoompad

    Reply
  10. Davros Le Sueur

    Stuart, you get so much poo thrown at you and yet you still keep plugging away.I,and I am sure many others, am extremely grateful that somebody is prepared to track down the truth and expose corruption.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Stuart,

    I don’t mean to put pressure on you in any way, but this blog is a much needed liferaft to me at the moment. I’m going through hell right now, but this blog and the awareness and anger against institutional child abuse and corruption really gives me hope. Please don’t even think about not doing it any more, please keep it going. Reading this blog gives me hope.

    I can’t help but wonder how many other child abuse victims are reading this blog who never post?

    Zoompad

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2340682,00.html

    ‘100 years to recover from Bush’

    Madrid – It will take the United States a century to recover from the damage wreaked by President George. W Bush, US writer Gore Vidal said in an interview published on Saturday.

    “The president behaved like a virtual criminal but we didn’t have the courage to sack him for fear of violating the American constitution,” Vidal told the El Mundo newspaper.

    The author, a trenchant critic of the US-led invasion of Iraq, said it would take the United States “100 years to repair the damage” caused by Bush.

    “We live in a dictatorship. We have a fascist government …which controls the media,” he said.

    Vidal also said presidential aspirant Barack Obama was “intelligent” adding that it would be a “novelty” to have an “intelligent” person in the White House.

    If the world be a toxic oyster, surely, Jersey has many properties in common with a Petri dish?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petri_dish

    Come Autumn 2008, come swiftly, like our tides…

    Reply
  13. Rob Kent

    The unintentional consequence of the change in wording was obviously some kind of slip up, although it seems incredible that nobody in the law office noticed it.

    But the way it appeared in the JEP seems faintly fishy. Does the JEP have someone scouring all the law changes and working out their potential implications?

    The headline in the JEP was also uncharacteristically confrontational towards the Establishment: ‘Now they can lock you up indefinitely.’ [my emphasis].

    I suspect this was a story given to the JEP by an insider, for whatever motivation, and, knowing it would be rescinded straight away, the JEP deployed it in the most sensational way possible.

    Of course, I might be wrong.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    Message for Zoompad,

    Stuart, I hope you don’t mind me doing this via your Blog but no other way to make contact.

    I would be happy to help you if I can. I am based on the UK mainland and suspect I live not far from you. Remember, all that is needed for evil men to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

    I can happily pass on a contact e-mail address if Stuart is agreeable. I post as “mason buster” and am involved in a campaign against the masons. My knowledge of these evil bastards acquired to date has revealed their involvement in child abuse and murder all over the UK, Europe too. This is known to people like MPs but they fail to act, too many powerful men to risk it.

    Stuart you can pass on ninel@hotmail.co.uk if you see fit.

    Reply
  15. Stuart Syvret

    Re Habeas Corpus

    There was no leak in respect of this matter. All Ministerial Orders have to be published, so it would have got out pretty quickly in any event.

    The JEP – to their credit [choke] – unearthed this matter – and, moreover, they got it right.

    The reporter, Andy Sibcy, was asking the police questions concerning how long they could hold a person without charge – in relation to certain hi-profile cases – and the police – at several levels – confirmed their understanding of the Order as amounting to indefinite detention – via 12 hour renewals.

    No criticism can be placed on the police for this arrangement. They know how seriously human rights issues are taken. The last thing they wanted was to be saddled with the burden of detaining without charge.

    As I said in my original post – the true reason for this measure is a repeated and intransigent objection to working at weekends on the part of the island’s judges and lawyers.

    Stuart

    Reply
  16. Dan

    Working on the basis that this change was brought in to enable rounds of golf to continue uninterrupted at weekends – could the open-ended nature be to cover for bank holiday weekends?

    Imagine the horror of working on a bank holiday. Some of us don’t have to imagine to hard!

    Reply
  17. res nullius

    Stuart,

    I have to disagree with you on one point in this blog; namely the role of lawyers.

    Your assertion that lawyers would rather be on the golf course etc rather than deal with their client’s affairs is a bit unfair.

    I could discuss this subject at length but will try to keep it as short as possible as I do not wish to bore!

    1. The legal aid system in Jersey does not comply with human rights law as it does not allow for lawyers to be present at every police interview (as is the case in the UK). As a result the police are able to use this to their advantage in interrogations.

    2. The legal aid system is not state funded – probably one of the only westernised jurisdictions on earth which is not. The government of Jersey is naturally quite happy not to pay for this important service.

    3. The ECHR place the burden on providing legal aid on the member state. The member state here ignores this burden and places it directly on law firms by dint of their ‘oath’.

    4. One result of this was that the wording of the police caution (the right to silence) in Jersey was not altered as it was in the UK. Had it been so altered the burden on the requirement to have a lawyer present would be overwhelming.

    5. Currently, a person asking to have a lawyer attend the police station would only receive one if the offence arrested for was murder, rape or offences against children. NB a drug importer will often get a longer sentence then a child molester!

    Anyway, that said, I can assure you that the reason suspects do not get the effective representation, as of right, is not because lawyers not want to do the work, but because our government will not carry the burden imposed upon them by European human rights law.

    Result: certain important human rights are neglected.

    Happy to discuss this personally in more detail if you wish

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    Stuart, just thought this news may help the Jersey Victims.

    For those members who know about my ongoing court fight for justice for victims of sexual abuse whilst in care, I would just like to inform you that I won in the Courts of Appeal in London yesterday, so I am now back to the High Courts to fight on, but this time with more ammo to fight the defence. So as I have always said, ‘Never Give Up’

    Jim Browne (Survivor)

    Reply
  19. Stuart Syvret

    Res Nullius

    Yes – I wouldn’t disagree with a word of what you write here.

    I have long recognised that the soi disant “legal aid system” in Jersey is not compatible with convention rights; not even faintly.

    This subject deserves a post of its own, so I won’t go into detail right now.

    However – I am not personally aware of any poor Jersey lawyers; indeed, form what I see, most of them are fantastically wealthy, and are amongst the most expensive lawyers on the face of the planet. With the vast majority of this e=wealth being earned through finance sector related activity.

    So what you say about the failure of the state is certainly correct.

    But I don’t think that absolves Jersey’s lawyers from some degree of ethical and professional responsibility to see that clients in need are dealt with at whatever hour of the day may be necessary.

    I would be very interested in communicating directly with you on this matter – as it is a state of affairs I am deeply unhappy with. I’m not sure, however, of you identity, so if you wish to e-mail me directly, I’d be happy to talk.

    Stuart.

    Reply
  20. Res nullius

    I agree that it shouldn’t absolve Jersey’s lawyers from some degree of ethical and professional responsibility.

    However, the amount of pro bono work done by lawyers is considerable. The legal aid side is to a large extent, funded by the profits made on the finance side. In London for instance (another finance hub) the finance side works for itself and the legal aid side is government funded.

    By comparison, you don’t see, for instance, dentists, who also earn a very decent wedge on this island, writing off millions of pounds worth of debt each year. If you can’t pay, you lose your teeth – that includes pensioners!

    That said, huge improvements could be made in the system. On that note I shall email you.

    Reply
  21. crapaudmatic

    Soi disant?! Who the heck uses that? I had to look it up! Thanks for educating me (in a roundabout way) but wow… why make your writings harder to read? Don’t you want to get your message over plainly and simply without the risk of seeming un petit peu pretentious? :o)

    All the best – I hope you like today’s entry in my blog.

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Simon Bellwood has posted some interesting information on his blog in the last couple of days.

    Two things that caught my eye were the threat to prosecute him for breach of the data protection law, and the reason that Senator Ben Shenton gave for refusing to consider his appeal against loss of employment.

    Taking the data protection issue first, I would be interested to know the background. My very limited understanding of the law is that it is – essentially – intended to stop companies that collect personal data from individuals from misusing that data. Say, your bank selling your personal details to Nigerian scam artists.

    It is difficult to understand how operating a blog as Simon is doing is misuse of data in any meaningful way. On the other hand, it is very easy to imagine that there are general provisions or grey areas in the law that would allow the Commissioner to construct a legal argument that he is breaching the law, even if it wouldn’t stand up in court.

    Is this a case of a vague law being misused to threaten an awkward individual? (In much the same way as anti-terrorism laws are misused in the UK).

    Turning to Senator Shenton’s reason for dismissing Simon Bellwood’s appeal, this seems to be yet another instance of our Health Minister’s inability to exercise common sense.

    Simon could not appeal, apparently, because he was no longer employed by H&SS.

    Think about the wonderful implications of this policy. Any employee who is dismissed from the service automatically loses any right of appeal.

    So if I am summarily dismissed on the flimsiest of grounds – having a bad haircut, perhaps – I automatically and instantly lose any right to appeal against my dismissal since I am no longer an employee.

    Of course, I can still go to the employment tribunal or even go to court to claim unfair dismissal, but this would put me in an adversarial position against my former employer, making a return to work very difficult even if I won.

    Poor Ben isn’t really to blame for dreaming this one up as the letter was written for him by Mike Pollard, but he can be blamed for putting his name to it.

    And while I’m on the subject, is it correct that Senator Shenton still has a day job (namely as a director of Team Asset Management)? How does he find time to fit in his duties as Health Minister? Does he draw his full salary as a States member, or just a portion to reflect the part-time nature of the job?

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    Hi Stuart.

    How dare the state of Jersey ignore the European human rights law, who the bloody hell do they think they are, they are no better than the Germans now.

    Would you not think that ALL the legal teams in Jersey would fight this and take it themselves to the European Court of Human Rights.

    How can anyone get justice in Jersey if the state make the laws to suit themselves, each day shocks me more and more when I read this blog. Lawyers make a lot of money these days, but we would be lost without them true, but one of them must stand up for human rights and the rest may follow, or are they scared of losing any Legal Aid fee’s ?

    Keep up the good work mate.

    Jim Browne (Survivor)

    Reply
  24. voiceforchildren

    Their is an old saying, “You get what you pay for” I am that broke, when I have had “legal advice” from legal aid the advice that i’ve been given was worth the exact same price as I’ve been charged, NOTHING.

    Reply
  25. Res nullius

    “are they scared of losing any Legal Aid fee’s ?” Jim Browne

    That was my point Jim. Lawyers don’t get money for doing legal aid work in Jersey. They can charge the client a ‘reasonable’ amount towards the fees but it is nothing compared to what it costs them to act for the client.

    The only other way of getting money in for legal aid work is to win a case in court.

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    “They can charge the client a ‘reasonable’ amount towards the fees but it is nothing compared to what it costs them to act for the client.”

    Profit mongering word merchants, feathering a nest of vipers.

    A sick business is law, a proven fact. Where are the altruists amongst your proliferating number?

    How much does it cost a human to “act” exactly?

    To a man, woman, solicitor or advocate, in this dark isle you all live in fear of the cretin who appointed you:

    Sir Philip Martin Bailhache

    Lest he might turn off the money tap…

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    A few years back I had to engage with the Jersey Legal Aid system at the end of which I was presented with a hefty bill, which was quite contrary to teh original terms agreed. I challenged it and won because they had indicated a nominal cost at the outset and had not informed me in writing (as the case dragged on) that my costs were rising. I found out from the CAB web site that to keep a legal aid client regularly informed of costs was a requirement.

    The only assistance from the legal aid rep was having letters going out on his firms headed paper, I had to do most of the work and had to chase both parties to get a beneficial settlement. I was made to feel inferior and a nuisance, but I kept at it and won through!

    Reply
  28. Anonymous

    Stuart

    Several interesting points have been raised about Habeas corpus

    The lack of a time limit to holding an individual without charge

    The ability to make significant change to legal principles without debate. Even if it was a terrible mistake.

    The use of ministerial directions in the constitution

    The lack of independent advice available to ministers.

    In recent weeks, the government have voted for a £330 million scheme without any diligence checks.

    The chief minister is angry about the critical comments landing on him. Did he have a good holiday or was he bothered by all the island emails.

    Until he starts showing some leadership and deals with the poor performance of crown officers and senior civil servants he deserves the comments

    He has gone to the press angry at being portrayed as a liar or a fool.

    The developers are an Irish company, the last two Irish premiers were embroiled in development scandals. Frank you should have checked more carefully.

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    Stuart
    I see the Barclay brothers have lost their request for a review of the constitution for Sark

    Good to see, reforms are sweeping through the Islands!

    Hope they get justice in Europe

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    Keep fighting

    rember the people who died or risked their lives fighting for Jersey to be free (from types like this lot)

    Our day will come

    Reply
  31. Anonymous

    For those of you who think Jersey politicans are pretty much a useless lot, there is at least one ray of hope.

    Senator Perchard has single-handedly restored democracy in the island. Thanks to him, we are to have a referendum.

    So what is the vital issue on which we will be allowed to have our say? Imposition of GST? Reversal of the “20 means 20” and “zero ten” tax policies? Sacking incompetent ministers? The identity of the next chief minister? The future of the waterfront? The next multi-million pound hole-in-the-ground capital expenditure scheme? Whether we want traffic chaos for the next few years to extend the underpass? Over-development of the island’s coastline and countryside? Reducing our beyond-bloated civil service? Reform of unaffordable public sector pension schemes? How care of the elderly should be funded? Whether we think encouraging 500 new immigrants to an already over-crowded island every year (in addition to the hundreds we didn’t invite) is a good idea?

    No. Something far more important. We will get to decide whether we want to put the clocks forward an hour.

    Reply
  32. Anonymous

    Milk teeth found at Jersey home

    Police teams have carried out excavation work at Haut de la Garenne
    Police have found more milk teeth at the former children’s home in Jersey at the centre of an abuse investigation.

    Officers on the island said 21 milk teeth were unearthed at Haut de la Garenne, which takes the total discovered to 48.

    Police have been excavating cellars after starting a search of the former home in February as part of a wider probe into past abuse on Jersey.

    Three men have been charged with sexual abuse offences as part of the inquiry.

    Sieving process

    A Jersey Police spokesman said: “Although detailed testing has yet to take place, early indications are that most if not all the teeth found are milk teeth.

    “There are currently 26 teeth in the UK undergoing examination while the rest remain in Jersey. Once the sieving process is complete, the remaining teeth will be submitted for examination in the UK.”

    More than 100 people have made allegations of abuse at Haut de la Garenne between the early 1960s and 1986.

    Tests are being conducted on the 26 teeth, which police say were “very unlikely to have come out naturally before death”.

    Of 30 bone fragments unearthed, tests have found that some were cut while others had been burnt.

    Abuse charges

    A covert investigation into abuse of children at the home began in 2006 following allegations by former residents.

    Gordon Claude Wateridge, 76, originally from Croydon, south London, is charged with three offences of indecent assault on girls under 16 at Haut de la Garenne between 1969 and 1979.

    Claude Donnelly, 68, of St Brelade, Jersey – arrested as part of the wider inquiry – is charged with raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl on Jersey between 1971 and 1974.

    Michael Aubin, 45, of St Denys, Southampton, is charged with two counts of indecent assault against a seven-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, and one count of serious sexual assault against an eight-year-old boy, all at Haut de la Garenne between 1977 and 1980.

    A fourth man, a 50-year-old former police officer arrested in connection with the investigation, has been released without charge.

    Reply
  33. Stuart Syvret

    Re “moaning whingers”.

    So – you believe about 85% of the population should leave their island – and let the remaining 15% and Frank & Co to have their way?

    In my view, if people are complaining – those complaints are more than justified. Indeed – I’ve never known a time when such a solid cross-section of opinion in Jersey – Left & Right – were united in finally having enough of the current clowns.

    Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to be the people in the street who leave.

    Stuart.

    Reply
  34. Rob Kent

    Re:
    “you are all moaning whinging losers
    if you dont like it in jersey leave”

    You must have been reading the Jersey Human Rights Act, which has only one line: “There is a boat in the morning.”

    I took your advice back in 1984, but not for that reason. Strangely, whenever I speak to my parents and other members of my family, they are all fulminating about the way Jersey is being governed and their taxes are being wasted.

    None of them are losers, lefties, or righties, so I guess they have other justifications for complaint.

    It’s nice to know that at least one anonymous person is completely happy with the situation though. Well done.

    Reply
  35. Anonymous

    Stuart
    There is a poll by the Independent Advisory Group on “channel on line” web site currently asking people whether or not the they think that the HDG investigation has been handled well. There is a picture of Lenny Harper fronting the headline.

    The poll currently stands at about 34% of people think it has been handled well and 66% think it has NOT been handled well.

    This is incredible and I think this is yet another example of how desperate some people are to denigrate the police and their sterling efforts in this case, Lenny Harper, in particular.

    So I hope it is OK to use your forum to encourage people to vote.

    Reply
  36. Anonymous

    Re:
    “you are all moaning whinging losers
    if you dont like it in jersey leave”

    Is that you Frank, have you decided to come out mate hahahah.

    Looks like the good folk of Jersey are now begining to see the light, at last most of them know they can fight back at the polling stations and choose who THEY want to run the Island.

    I think this Blog has brought the truth about Jersey into the public domain on the mainland, and what a shock it has been to see how those people have had to live over the years, I thought the days of the poor Jews and concentration camps were over, but it looks like I was wrong, get rid of your so called leaders and bring in new ones who care for the people and not just about how much is in their own pockets.

    Hope you read this Frank & Co because you don’t scare me one little bit, cretins

    JIM BROWNE (Survivor & Fighter for the Victims)

    Reply
  37. Anonymous

    Stuart

    An interesting article from the local news website demonstrates the increasing interference from non elected bailiff.I have pasted it below:

    “Ambitious arts funding plan is revealed

    Jersey’s Bailiff Sir Philip Bailhache has personally taken up the challenge to get the island a National Art Gallery.

    He wants to use the profits from developing the Waterfront to build a world class Art Gallery. Officials from the Tate Modern and Tate St Ives have been in the Island to convince politicians and the public it would be a worthwhile investment.

    If the Bailiff gets his way a new gallery will be built here at the Weighbridge. The old bus terminus will be transformed into a modern art facility, where Islanders from all walks of life will be educated for years to come.

    It all sounds great but it’s not cheap.. but Sir Philip already has an idea from where that cash can come from: “The plan to sink the road on the Waterfront and create a new office centre is as we all know going to yield a certain amount of money to the Waterfront Enterprise Board which the States has decided should be used for the regeneration of St Helier. It seems to me that the construction of an art gallery falls very clearly within that kind of scope.”

    How much does a Monet cost Does the Island really need this given that the Bellozanne waste unit is living on borrowed time, a great deal of the island is not on mains sewers?

    Another political speech from the Bailiff influencing public policy.

    Somebody please remove him from office!

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    Apparently Ben Shenton replied to the recent invite re:Nursery care/provision “I don’t have time for such trivialities”.
    Do you know if this i true – and what does it say about the man in charge of health (surely the care of our youngest Islanders come under his remit as well as under Educations?)

    Reply
  39. Anonymous

    Jersey Jersey quite rigid with fury,

    How does public spending grow?
    With madcap schemes of civil servants dreams

    and a waterfront flooding in one go

    Reply
  40. Anonymous

    JEP “HAUT de la Garenne has not affected Jersey’s ability to sell holidays, according to tour operators.”

    Well now does this say that good people coming to a bad place or bad people are going to a good place?

    What kind of person would still go to Jersey and aid the Jersey Oligarchs in wealth from tourism or what kind of person goes to an island where such horrors went on without an ulterior motive.

    Reply
  41. Anonymous

    At least we’re alive to moan and whinge. Which is more than I can say for some of those poor abuse victims.

    As for leaving on boats, well I wouldn’t advise it if it has “Sea Cadets” written on the side of it!

    Zoompad

    Reply
  42. Anonymous

    There’s a very tiny island somewhere in Scotland that Frank and co might like to exile to. They could have it all to themselves and be Prime Minister and King and Queen and whatever they like. I’m sure Stuart would respect their Christmas back patting celebrations if they went there. Mind you, they might have to duck from time to time as the RAF use it for target practice!

    Zoompad

    Reply
  43. Res nullius

    Re:
    “you are all moaning whinging losers
    if you dont like it in jersey leave”

    Oooh…how very Terry Le Main of you

    Reply
  44. Davros Le Sueur

    Re Bayleaf Phil.

    Regeneration, what utter b*l**c*s
    I thought the waterfront money was supposed to be for housing and the benefit of St Helier, not another snob est,this time an art gallery.
    Why create open space and then build on it anyway.
    You can just see all the ‘toadies’ saying “Lets call it ‘The Sir Philip Balliache Gallery'”.

    The Bailiff is
    UNDERWHELMING- UNELECTED – UNWANTED

    Reply
  45. Anonymous

    Stuart
    Any idea what has happened to Deputy Pitman’s Proposition to the States about lack of confidence in the Bailiff. It seems to have gone quiet.

    Reply
  46. Anonymous

    Stuart Syvret with an axe gave the establishment 40 whacks

    When he saw what he had done, he gave the Bailiff 41

    Reply
  47. jerome

    “The island was “being portrayed in a sensationalistic way … there is no evidence of anything for now”, Mr Ozouf said.”

    Please vote this man out, PLEASE!!!

    Reply
  48. Anonymous

    Just as a point of interest…
    originally Haut de la G internal areas were named A block, B block, C & D block. These were then re-named (in the mid 60’s I think) to be a little more ‘child friendly’ into (and sorry for poor spellings here) Aviemore, Baintree, Claymore and Dunluce.
    At no point were (as far as myself or other ex-residents remember) any cellars named.
    Please note that this is simply to correct a mistake mentioned a great deal in the press and not a comment about any abuse that may/may not have taken place – my personnel experience there was good, and I didn’t know there were cellars.
    Thanks

    Reply

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