Complaints against States Members (FOI)
Complaints against States Members (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 08 September 2017.
How many complaints have been made against States Members since 2010?
- A breakdown of complaints year by year
- A breakdown of complaints by States Member
- A breakdown of complaints by States Member year by year
- How many of the above complaints led to action?
Listed below by year are the complaints that have been investigated by the Privileges and Procedures Committee from January 2010 to August 2017. The investigations are all in relation to alleged breaches of the code of conduct for elected members as detailed in Schedule 3 of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey.
The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) considered a total of seven complaints, three of these complaints were by States members. PPC upheld two of these complaints. PPC presented a report to the Assembly in relation to a complaint against Senator J.L. Perchard. A copy of the report is available at the following link:
Complaint against Senator JL Perchard
PPC did not consider any complaints in relation to States members.
PPC considered five complaints, one of these complaints was by a States member. One complaint was upheld.
PPC considered three complaints, one of these complaints was by a States member. One complaint was upheld.
PPC considered two complaints, one of these complaints was by a States member. One complaint against Deputy N.B. Le Cornu was upheld. Deputy Le Cornu made a personal statement to apologise for his conduct. A copy of his statement is available at the following link:
Personal statement by Deputy NB Le Cornu
PPC considered six complaints, no complaints were made by States members. four complaints were upheld
PPC considered five complaints, one of these complaints was by a States member. No complaints were upheld.
2017 (to August):
PPC considered three complaints. No complaints were made by States members. one complaint against Deputy A.D. Lewis was upheld and a Vote of Censure has been lodged which is available at the following link:
Vote of censure: Deputy AD Lewis
In addition to the complaints listed above a number of other complaints were submitted to the Privileges and Procedures Committee during the period 2010-2017 but were not considered for the following reasons:
Two further complaints have been received during August 2017 and are due to be considered by the newly appointed Commissioner for Standards.
Where PPC has decided not to make further details of complaints public, upheld or not, the information cannot be disclosed as it is absolutely exempt under Article 28 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Article 28 - States Assembly privileges
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if exemption from the obligation to disclose it under this Law is required to avoid an infringement of the privileges of the States Assembly.
(2) Except as provided by paragraph (3), a certificate signed by the Greffier of the States certifying that exemption is required to avoid an infringement of the privileges of the States Assembly is conclusive evidence of that fact.
(3) A person aggrieved by the decision of the Greffier of the States to issue a certificate under paragraph (2) may appeal to the Royal Court on the grounds that the Greffier did not have reasonable grounds for issuing the certificate.
(4) The decision of the Royal Court on the appeal shall be final.
Justification for Exemption
The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) is appointed under Standing Order 127 of the States of Jersey. Standing Order 128 details the Terms of Reference of PPC and includes “the enforcement of the code of conduct for members of the States and in this context to promote high standards amongst members of the States and to champion and defend the privileges of members of the States”.
The information that has been exempted was generated during the course of PPC investigations into the code of conduct of States members and is directly relevant to proceedings of the Assembly – in these cases, PPC has chosen not to make details of their investigations and actions public and disclosure of such information would be an infringement of the privileges of the States Assembly, particularly the Assembly’s right to decide its own internal procedures, including deciding on what information to put in the public domain and the timing and manner of such publication, without interference from any outside authority. This is a fundamental protection for a democratically-elected legislature and the existence of this privilege in Jersey was confirmed by the Royal Court in the case of Syvret v. Bailhache & Hamon (1998 JLR 128).