Legal powers of States Members (FOI)
Legal powers of States Members (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey on behalf of the States Greffe and published on 26 June 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Over the past five years Deputy Mike Higgins has within the States of Jersey Assembly made numerous claims against either the Police or the Attorney General’s Office for not charging or prosecuting persons named during the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry.
As Deputy Mike Higgins behaves like there appears to be no separation of Powers in Jersey. I would therefore like to know what powers States Members have within the States of Jersey Assembly to either pressure the Police or meddle with the Attorney General’s Office when considering any potential criminal offence?
I would also like to know whether States Members are ever actively involved in any Police operational matter that does not concern them directly as Deputy Mike Higgins would make us believe?
States members are bound by the Code of Conduct for Elected members as set out in the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey. Members may, working within the provisions of Standing Orders, ask oral or written questions within the States Assembly on matters of public interest. They may also lodge propositions for debate on matters relating to the interests of the people of Jersey. Whilst questions may therefore be put to the Minister for Home Affairs on general policing matters, and to the Attorney General on general matters to do with the prosecution service, both the Police and the Law Officers’ Department maintain complete operational independence from government and from the States Assembly and from each other when considering any potential criminal offence.
States members, just like any other members of the public, are free to report any matters of concern to the States of Jersey Police. Although they may assist officers with an investigation by providing evidence, full police operational independence as to the direction of such an inquiry is maintained at all times.
This response has been issued on behalf of the States Greffe, in conjunction with the States of Jersey Police. 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