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Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey on behalf of the States Greffe and published on 04 September 2017.
Prepared internally, no external costs.

Request 

During the past 2 years how many times have States Members been required to withdraw comments made in the States Chamber which were deemed as unparliamentary language? 

How many such instances arose because they were deemed as "offensive" to other or another Member? 

What specific language was used in instances deemed to be personally offensive or not acceptable when used regarding an identifiable Member or several Members? 

Response 

The States Greffe does not keep a comprehensive record of the occasions on which States Members are required to withdraw comments made in the States Chamber. This information can be found by looking through the transcript (“Hansard") of each States sitting. Hansard transcripts can be searched by a year range and the use of search terms (for example 'unparliamentary') will return a list of dates where the search term appears in the transcript.  Once a specific transcript is opened, the Ctrl+F function can be used to find the place within the document where the search term appears. Hansard will also show the language used which occasioned a request for withdrawal and the explanation given by the Presiding Officer as to why a request to withdraw a term has been made. Again, no comprehensive record of these matters is kept by the States Greffe. 

Below is a link to the Hansard area of the States Assembly website: 

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/Pages/Hansard.aspx 

Alternatively, the Hansard transcripts are available to be viewed and searched at Jersey Archive in PDF format or in printed format at the States Assembly Information Centre in Morier House, Halkett Place or at Jersey Library, Halkett Place.

​The Greffier of the States does submit an annual return of unparliamentary remarks to The Table, the journal of the Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments, in response to the following request: “Please list, in date order, any expressions disallowed in [year], in the following format: “Expression" (date). Please do not include expressions which amount to straightforward abuse or accusations of lying. Expressions which were not ruled unparliamentary may be omitted. Each expression and variations thereof need be included only once. If expressions were in a language other than English, please also provide an English translation." 

For 2015 the following expressions were provided: 

“It is the kind of what-would-Jesus-do society because, of course, he would be there at the Tory conference sitting with the Institute of Directors in the middle table"  (07.10.2015) 

  • “He speaks with forked tongue" (16.12.2015) 

and for 2016: 

  • “Get off your backside" (20.01.2016) 
  • “Taking the proverbial" (24.05.2016) 
  •  “I' n'peuvent pon même trouver lus tchu auve les deux mains."- Jèrriais expression for “He couldn't find his arse with both hands" (28.09.2016) 
  • “Drawn on the back of a fag packet" (28.09.2016) 
  • “Knicker elastic" (30.09.2016)
  • ​“Sending [minister] to the knackers' yard" (30.09.2016) 
  • “Nobble" (29.11.2016) 

This response has been issued on behalf of the States Greffe. The States Greffe is responsible for the information held by (and on behalf of) both itself and the States Assembly.  Neither the States Assembly nor the States Greffe form part of the Government of Jersey and the Government was not involved either in the examination and retrieval of any information required for this response, nor in the drafting of the response itself.​

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