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Commentary relating to the introduction of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 (FOI)

Commentary relating to the introduction of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 03 June 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.

​​Request

I would like to find out any commentary relating to the introduction of the Probate Jersey Law 1998. I have the Projet/proposition, but I am specifically interested in any reports/hansard
debate etc in the run up to this law. I'm specifically interested in Article 25 to do with variation of dispositions.

Response

This legislation was sponsored by the Finance and Economics Committee and developed by  the Legislation Committee. The positions of the various parties contributing to the drafting of the Law were recorded in the minutes of these two committees. Note the development and drafting were coordinated by the Judicial Greffier leading a Working Party of the Legislation Committee. The draft Probate (Jersey) Law 199 was lodged au Greffe on 18 November 1997 by the Legislation Committee. The publication of the draft Probate (Jersey) Law 199  in projet P.178/1997 by the States Greffe included a report and an explanatory note as detailed below. A search was initially made at the Judicial Greffe since the Judicial Greffier led the development process: a search was also made at the States Greffe, but no additional relevant records were found. In the records of the Judicial Greffe we have found the documents below which record the commentary made in the lead up to the introduction of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998. Note these records are those found at the Judicial Greffe and are official copies of records from the States Greffe.

Items 1 to 5 below can be downloaded here:

Download commentary on Article 25 of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 (size 2mb)

1. 

15 Jan 1996: Legislation Committee minutes Act 8.

2.

4 Apr 1996: Finance and Economics Committee minutes Act 38.

3.

20 May 1996: Legislation Committee minutes Act 10. Redacted please see explanation of exemption applied below.

Documents lodged with the draft law on 18 November 1997. Note these are published by the
States Greffe as part of the draft Probate (Jersey) Law 199, projet P.178/1997, but excerpts covering Article 25 are included in this response.

4.

Report of the Legislation Committee to States of Jersey in relation to the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 [excerpt covering Article 25]

5.

Explanatory note of the Law Draftsman to accompany the draft Probate (Jersey) Law 199
[excerpt covering Article 25]

The Law as enacted may be found on the JLIB website:

Probate (Jersey) Law 1998 on the Jersey Legal Information Board website

References to ‘the Law’ below are to the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 which may be found on the JLIB site at:

Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 on the Jersey Legal Information Board website

Exemptions

FOI exemption(s) applied:
31 Advice by the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or a Law Officer

Information is qualified exempt information if it is or relates to the provision of advice by the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.

Justification for exemption

Item 3  ‘20 May 1996: Legislation Committee minutes Act 10’ contains two paragraphs which record communication from the Bailiff in reporting the views of the Royal Court to the Legislation Committee. We consider that this information ‘is or relates to the provision of advice by the Bailiff’ and therefore the exemption described by Article 31 is engaged. This exemption is a qualified exemption under the Law.
Article 9(2) of the Law determines when we may refuse to supply information we hold which is covered by a qualified exemption:
9 When a scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information it holds
(2) A scheduled public authority must supply qualified exempt information it has been requested to supply unless it is satisfied that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so.
We recognise the public interest in supplying information which helps understanding of the process of changing the law. However it is also strongly in the public interest to maintain the
exemption allowed by Article 31 and not supply information if it is or relates to the provision of advice by the Bailiff. In balancing the public interest in supplying the information on the one
hand and on the other hand maintaining the exemption allowed under Article 31, we also consider that the other information which is being released does provide a full overview of the
key issues raised in developing Article 25 of the Probate (Jersey) Law 1998; this means the additional public interest in supplying the paragraphs which engage the Article 31 exemption is
correspondingly less. Therefore, having considered the balance of the public interest in all the circumstances of the case we are satisfied that the public interest in supplying this part of the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so and we have redacted the
paragraphs from our response. 

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