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Written submissions on role of Crown Officers

Read here the written submissions which set out the views that have been put to the panel for its consideration. Subject to panel confirmation, submissions are uploaded to the webpage unless received in confidence. They are also attributed unless there is a request for the submission to remain anonymous. The final decision in these matters remains with the panel.  Large submissions are accessible in PDF format at the bottom of this page.

Written submissions considered by the panel reviewing the role of Jersey's Crown Officers

Written submission from Ms J Andersson, Attac Jersey, 28 March 2010

I write on behalf of Attac Jersey. We belong to an international non-governmental organisation that works to promote fairness in all tax-related matters. We are also a member of the international Tax Justice Network.  Attac's motto is 'A better world is possible.' and it is for this reason that we feel impelled to contribute a few thoughts to this important review.

If Jersey prides herself on being a world-class finance centre then she should be working within a democracy of the highest order. The arguments that 'We've always done it this way.' can no longer hold water if Jersey is to be taken seriously on the world stage.

We concern ourselves here with the role of the Bailiff. Our argument is simple - there is a conflict of interest when legislative and judicial powers are held in the same hands. As an unelected member the Bailiff has no right to preside in the States and lord it over our elected members. This is Politics Ladybird Book 1.

Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. We feel strongly that the Bailiff has the responsibility to see that presiding over the States as an unelected member is unacceptable and do something about changing this anomaly. We must encourage him to loosen his grip if he is to hang on to any authority at all.


Written submission from Mr P Bisson, 23 March 2010

This submission refers to the non-judicial role of the Bailiff.

Public discussion in this area seems to have focused mainly on the fact that the Bailiff presides over the States as well as the Royal Court. As the Panel will be aware, this arrangement is a legacy of the States’ origin in the 16th century as an offshoot of the Royal Court. The Bailiff does not exercise any political power but merely presides over the Assembly: there is no real conflict of interest between this and his judicial role, and I see no reason to make any change. In theory the Bailiff could be replaced as President by a Speaker chosen by the States Members from among themselves, but I can only endorse the views expressed by some other correspondents as to the likely effect of this on the quality of proceedings in the House.

My chief concern is with the Bailiff’s role as head of the Island community. Though this has attracted less comment, it is of great importance. The Bailiff speaks either to or for the people of Jersey on many occasions ranging from community events to solemn commemorations such as Liberation and Remembrance, and at moments of national or international emergency. He is also sometimes called upon to represent Jersey on a wider stage in high-level relations with other governments. These functions are a vital element of Jersey’s identity, and can only be performed by a respected non-political figure at the head of local society: no politician, even one elected as Speaker of the States Assembly, would be acceptable in this role.
 
If the separation of functions is forced through and the Bailiff's role is reduced to that of a judge only, I believe it will be necessary for Jersey to have an elected president to take the Bailiff's place as civic head of the Island. There would be nothing impossible in that: four hundred years ago, in the reign of Elizabeth I, we find Jersey described as a "République" under the Crown. But it would be far better to leave the present arrangement as it stands.


Written submission from Mrs B Clarke, 14 February 2010

Ref. The Bailiff, Attorney General and Solicitor General

I would say, without any hesitation that without the three gentlemen mentioned above, Jersey would indeed be a very sorry, indeed, awful place to live.

These three gentlemen have earned their positions in life after years of training in their respective careers, not to mention the effect it may have had on their families what with all the studying they surely must have done.

I say, Jersey would be a shambles if we were wholly governed by our so called States Members, all of whom, in my opinion, are in it for what they can get out of being a member, and have not a brain between them, that is just how angry and sad I feel about the entire States Members. I truly cannot think of anyone in Jersey who would even think of employing any one of them.

So, that is my thinking about the said 3 gentlemen. Jersey cannot do without your guidance and wisdom, but I do wish you all had more power to lavish even more guidance upon us all.


Written submission from Major General C Cornock, 29 March 2010

There has been a good deal of comment in the Press recently about a proposal to downgrade the Bailiff from his position of authority. I would therefore like to make a couple of observations which I hope might help if used in the debate.

The position of Bailiff has been of huge value to Jersey for many years in part due to the high quality of those who have been appointed to the position. Today that standard is being maintained.  However, the greatest value is that we have a man of stature who is well versed in the all important traditions and values of our Island and who is capable of making properly considered decisions, especially difficult and contentious ones. He is a person who we look up to, who we respect and who sits above politics.

I believe that if any change is made to the appointment and position of our Bailiff, Jersey will be the poorer to the detriment of everyone living here.


Written submission from Deputy A Dupré, 8 February 2010

I am a great traditionalist, and, as such, I am a believer of the status quo.

I think that the way Jersey has continued with its traditions, for example, the carrying of the Royal Mace before all States sittings, the swearing in of Jurats and Crown Officers, as well as States Members is one that must continue.



Written submission from Mr D Frost, 2 April 2010

The Bailiff is both the chief magistrate and President of the Royal Court and also presides over the States Assembly.  A minority but vocal group suggest that it is inappropriate that he holds both positions arguing a conflict of interest, and that he should relinquish the presidency of the States.

Being even handed I think its fair to acknowledge that, given a blank piece of paper in the 21st century we would probably plan a modified structure in the States and indeed I thought there was much to commend in the 2002 report.  However, at this time I see no logic in splitting our Bailiff’s traditional responsibilities.  Indeed observing in the last 12 years the apathetic bordering on negative representation afforded the Channel Isles in the international forum by the British government, I see our Bailiff’s role as ever more important.

If Jersey is not to be bullied we have to fight our corner directly in Europe and our de facto President in my view has a key role to play holding equal status with the European heads of state.  In this regard size has no bearing, and so it not an issue.

Finally, I would make the point that in the last 12 years I have had the privilege of living here in Jersey I have seen no evidence of compromise or conflict resulting from the Bailiff’s dual presidency roles.  So, if it’s working – and it certainly has done so in my time, why change it?

I write very much as an individual but it would be wrong of me not to record that most of our acquaintances on the island are of the view that there is nothing to be gained by excluding the Bailiff from the States and inevitably introducing in his place a ‘speaker’!  Currently, since he presides, he is totally up to speed on all issues and ideally placed to represent Jersey in the international forum.  It is critical we do this more pro-actively to defend our historic status and our economy for the future.


 

Written submission from Deputy B Hill, 8 March 2010

As you know I am the States Member who lodged P5 / 2009 seeking approval for the Review of the unelected Members of the States. I was disappointed that the States accepted PPC's amendment to remove the Lt Governor and the Dean from the scope of the Review. However if it is deemed inappropriate for the unelected members to speak in a unicameral parliament the States may have to re-visit the matter.
 
The reason for lodging my Proposition was because I had been concerned for some time about the Crown Officer's accountability and the inability to appeal against their decisions.
 
 I have been the Deputy of St Martin since 1993 and have had considerable dealings with the Crown Officers. I may add that whilst "I have crossed swords" with them I hold no grudges and accept that at times they are placed in difficulties due to the present system. However I would like to give an account of some of my concerns and welcome the opportunity of elaborating before the panel at a later date
 
At present the Bailiff is responsible for approving requests from Members when lodging questions, both oral and written, propositions, amendments and making personal statements. If the Bailiff rejects the requests there is no ability to appeal against that decision. I have personal experience and the current arrangements should not continue. I would be happy to share my experiences with the Panel.
 
I have also had occasion to complain to about the conduct of the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. Both complaints were made to the Ministry of Justice but on both occasions I was informed that it was inappropriate to intervene and I should seek a local remedy. Unfortunately there is no local remedy.
 
I am also concerned about the Attorney General's "three hats."
 
My proposition to establish an Independent Prosecution Service was defeated by the States in  2007, ( P161/2007 ). The present system does not allow for a separation of responsibilities . I do not think it to appropriate for an officer who is the Head of the Honorary Police can also be the Head of the body to prosecute. It is also now apparent that the Cententiers who are accountable to the AG and have sole responsibility for charging are not subject to the Police Disciplinary Law. (P30/2009 refers).
 
Again as head of the Prosecution, I do not think it appropriate for that same Officer to be advising Members in the States or in Scrutiny.


Written submission from Mr J Jenkin, 26 February 2010

Dear Lord Carswell,

This submission is to do with the roles of the Bailiff (and of course by necessary extension that of the Deputy Bailiff) and the Attorney General.
 
One should perhaps always be loath to change a successful tradition of long standing, though prepared to do so for good reason. I submit that there is no such good reason and that indeed there are reasons to the contrary.
 
The position of Bailiff has been established over many hundreds of years.  It has served the Island well including through World War II to the present. The position transcends periodic change in the political government of Jersey.   
 
Besides being the titular head of the Island (other than in matters political - Chief Minister, or being representative of the Queen - Lieutenant Governor, as her ceremonial representative and as conduit to the UK government on some matters), the Bailiff chairs the sittings of the States.
 
As to the former: although it may be presumptuous to compare the office of Bailiff with that of the Crown in the UK, it is a Crown appointment and provides similar support for continuity and stability in Jersey, as the existence of the Crown does in the UK in its non political existence in the personification of the Queen or King.
 
By having a distinguished lawyer, independent of year to year changes in the make-up of the States presiding over its activities, the States has both a well qualified "Speaker" free from political pressure and a source of legal advice. This compares very favourably with the recent manner of fulfilling of the role of Speaker in the House of Commons.

The role of the Attorney General is presently free from possible political or police pressures. The importance of such independence has been underlined by the pressures that will have been imposed on its incumbent during the recent child abuse matter. Contrast the Attorney General of the UK who is a political appointee.
 
I would submit that the silent majority in Jersey comprises a body of opinion that does not wish to see a change in the role of the Crown Officers.

Yours sincerely.

James Jenkin


Written submission from Ms S Le Brocq, 21 August 2010

I wish to make my opinion known regarding the current enquiry into the roles of our Crown officers.
 
Despite the whingeing of a vociferous few, some of whom have probably fallen foul of it, our judiciary works well.  To their credit the men in these senior positions are hardworking, honourable and, above all well educated and intelligent.  This has been the case for all the years that I have known.  They have, through their diligence and attention to considered judgements, gained great respect with the silent majority of my fellow citizens.

My submission therefore is; You can't fix something that isn't broken, I urge you therefore, leave well alone.

There are people in the Island who try to keep their names to the forefront by criticizing as a matter of course, some of whom I notice, have made lengthy submissions to yourselves.  Please take notice of ME for a change, the established Jerseywoman.

I, and many ordinary inhabitants of Jersey, are a little fed up with the continued battering that our customs and traditions receive from many quarters including the UK press and  government, a great deal of which, is I feel, fuelled by the envy of success, one of the seven deadly sins which is common to the hearts of the English race.



Written submission from Major M Le Sueur, 13 March 2010

Put simply, my hypothesis is of  a potential 'conflict of interest', which is as follows: 

  1. The Attorney General (AG) and the Solicitor General (SG) as Law Officers are responsible for sanctioning the investigation, indictment and prosecution of  criminal accusations passed to them. This is normal and proper.
  2. The  AG, through the Magistrate, may also be responsible for the investigation, indictment and prosecution of breaches of the Human Rights Act.  Again, this is proper.
  3. If a criminal investigation were to discover wrong doing by a senior official of the States of Jersey, the AG and/or the SG, as the Law Officers representing and advising the States of Jersey, are also the Law Officers responsible for defending the public interest.
  4. My hypothetical case has now reached a point where if the AG / SG were to sanction an investigation, indict and successfully prosecute of a case which infringes the Human Rights Act, the AG / SG could find themselves prosecuting on behalf of the citizen and defending on behalf of the States of Jersey. A clear conflict of interest. Furthermore, if the complainant were dissatisfied with the outcome of a case and conflict of interest, there would be no redress.

Written submission from Mrs B Murphy, 9 February 2010

To the Review Panel.

It is my belief that the Crown Officers fulfil their roles well, particularly in these modern times.


Written submission from Deputy P J Rondel, 15 February 2010

In response to your correspondence of the 28 January into the Independent review of the role of the Bailiff and  Crown Officer.

With regard to the Bailiff I believe the perceived conflict of the Chief Justice and President of the States is minimal and does not require a change until such time as the Island has full independence then the roles should be separate.

With regard to the Attorney General and Solicitor General the Attorney General as head of the Honorary Police should be terminated with the introduction of a police authority.

Another area where the AG is conflicted is when advising both Ministers and Scrutiny Panels he sees both evidence from both sides, this must be a conflict given he then decides which side to give free advice too, the other side has to pay for an opinion. A way out of this is for the AG to advise the Ministers and SG Scrutiny Panels.


Written submission from Mr R Stevenson, 13 February 2010

I fully support all the Crown Officers being in the States. However, I think it is right that they have a right to speak.

Also I don’t think they should have the right to vote. I say keep everything as it is.


Written submission from Deputy T A Vallois, 5 March 2010 

As a new member to the States Assembly I feel it not only right to contribute to an important review such as this but also to thank you for taking your time to complete such a review on behalf of the Island of Jersey.

Jersey has a unique tradition set out over many hundreds of years and holds a special place in many peoples hearts however, I feel that this was not taken into full consideration upon reform of the Parliamentary system in 2004/2005.  We are still in the early days of a new government system and there are many parts to this system that not only members of the public feel uncomfortable with but also many within the States Assembly. 

The reason I mention the reform that took place is because I believe this was the catalyst for this review to take place and believe it is only correct to do so. There was a Constitutional Reform Act agreed in 2005 by the UK where they looked at the set up of their constitution, they were motivated by concerns that the historical admixture of legislative, judicial and executive power might not be in conformance with the requirements of Article 6 (paragraph 1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, because a judicial officer, having legislative or executive power, is likely not to be considered sufficiently impartial to provide a fair trial.  Seeming as we do not have a champion for Human Rights within the Island of Jersey it would be interesting to identify whether that really is an issue with our constitution.

With regards to legal advice to the executive and scrutiny panels I believe there was a great deal of bother over this at the beginning of the new system and is something which is also being addressed within a Code of Practice Review which I am currently chairing. 


Written submission from Mr C Wilton Davies, 4 February 2010

I believe that the legislature, judiciary and executive should be visibly separate parts of a democratic government.

The presence of these officers in the States chamber conflicts with this principle, and their role should be confined to giving advice (when asked for!).

An elected member of the States should fulfil the role of Speaker in the States chamber.


Downloadable submissions 
Download HM Attorney General, 16 March 2010 (size 3mb) 
Download Sir Philip Bailhache, 6 April 2010 (size 7mb) 
Download Bailiff (part 1), 9 March 2010 (size 308kb)
Download Bailiff (part 2), 9 March 2010 (size 74kb) 
Download Bailiff of Guernsey, 10 April 2010 (size 1.48mb) 
Download Mr D Bernard, 26 February 2010 (size 15kb)
Download Ms J Bridge, 5 April 2010 (size 124kb) 
Download Chairmen's Committee, 23 March 2010 (size 1mb) 
Download Jurat Clapham, 28 March 2010 (size 20kb) 
Download Comité des Chefs de Police, 18 March 2010 (size 10kb)
Download Comité des Connétables, 26 February 2010 (size 411kb) 
Download Mr G Cornwall, 9 March 2010 (size 15kb) 
Download Mr P Davis, 13 August 2010 (size 9kb) 
Download Mr A Day, 22 April 2010 (size 1mb)
Download The Dean, 15 March 2010 (size 32kb)
Download Deputy Bailiff, 17 March 2010 (size 936kb) 
Download Deputy Bailiff, 25 August 2010 (size 435kb) 
Download Jurat J de Veulle OBE, 1 March 2010 (size 34kb)  
Download Mr M Dubras, 31 March 2010 (size 22kb) 
Download Mr M Dun (part 1), 13 March 2010 (size 32kb) 
Download Mr M Dun (part 2), 13 March 2010 (size 54kb)
Download Mr M Dun (part 3), 13 March 2010 (size 7mb) 
Download Senator S Ferguson, 7 February (size 66kb) 
Download Jurat G Fisher, 18 February (size 2mb) 
Download Mr J Gindall (doc 1), 18 March 2010 (size 217kb) 
Download Mr J Gindall (doc 2), 18 March 2010 (size 76kb) 
Download Guernsey Law Officers, 25 March 2010 (size 52kb)
Download Mr R Hacquoil, 8 March 2010 (size 7kb) 
Download Connetable P F M Hanning, 12 February (size 361kb) 
Download Advocate Timothy Hanson (originally published in the Common Law World Review 2010) (size 137kb) 
Download Mr J Henwood, 30 March 2010 (size kb) 
Download Mr T Herbert, 19 March 2010 (size 108kb)
Download Honorary Police Association, 25 February 2010 (size 76kb) 
Download Mr P Horsfall CBE, 26 July 2010 (size 3.1mb) 
Download Jersey Human Rights Group, 27 April 2010 (size 53kb)
Download Mr R Jeune CBE, 23 February 2010 (size 346kb)
Download Judicial Greffier, 26 February 2010 (size 6kb) 
Download Advocate J Kelleher, 1 April 2010 (size 44kb) 
Download Deputy P Le Claire, 30 March 2010 (size 93kb)
Download Jurat S Le Cornu, 9 February 2010 (size 16kb) 
Download Mr N Le Cornu, 9 April 2010 (size 38kb) 
Download Mr A Lee, 18 May 2010 (size 144kb) 
Download Mr J Le Fondré, 19 April 2010 (size 10kb)
Download Deputy R Le Hérissier, 22 March 2010 
Download Mr B Le Sueur, 25 March 2010 (size 15kb)
Download Mr R MacRae, 7 April 2010 (size 42kb) 
Download Miss S Nicolle QC, 31 March 2010 (size 1mb)
Download Mr H Page, 26 February 2010 (size 254kb) 
Download Advocate P Sinel, 28 May 2010 (size 790kb) 
Download HM Solicitor General, 2 July 2010 (size 145kb)
 Download Air Marshall Sir John Sutton, 13 September 2010 (size 13kb)
Download Mr S Syvret, 31 March 2010 (size 33kb) 
Download Ms V Vibert, 29 March 2010 (size 392kb)
Download Mr D Warcup Acting Chief Officer - States of Jersey Police, 26 February 2010 (size 15kb) 

 

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