Absconding offenders (FOI)
Absconding offenders (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey on behalf of the Judicial Greffe and published on 18 July 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Can I have information on the following:
The number of offenders, in the past five years, who have absconded from court proceedings?
The number of arrest warrants still active for offenders who have absconded from court proceedings?
Examples of what offences those suspects were due to appear in court for?
Powers courts / prosecutors have to bring offenders back who manage to flee overseas while on bail?
A and B
We do hold records which would allow responding to questions A and B including criminal case files and arrest warrants. However, since we do not maintain the requested statistics, to answer questions A and B would require us to review all arrest warrants and associated case files to identify where the accused had absconded from proceedings, rather than before proceedings had started.
This would exceed the cost limit provided under Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 and the 12.5 hours maximum allowed under Regulation 2(1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014.
Judgments of the Royal Court are publicly available on the Jersey Legal Information Board (JLIB) website under the ‘Judgments’ tab.
Jersey Legal Information Board
A search for ‘abscond’, ‘“breach of bail”’ (with double quotes around the phrase) or ‘“contempt” “bail”’ (with double quotes around each word – so both have to be in the results) will provide some examples. Because this information is publicly available it is absolutely exempt under Article 23 (Accessible by Other Means) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
This question is a request for legal advice which we are unable to provide as a response to a request under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. The applicant may find relevant background information in the judgments and the Laws published on the JLIB site. The judgments published on the JLIB site discoverable as per the response to Question C above provide examples of the steps which had to be taken in those cases to bring the accused back to Jersey.
In general the powers available to courts and prosecutors to extradite suspects back to Jersey are a matter of law which will depend on legal arrangements between Jersey and the external jurisdiction which holds the suspect: a starting point might be to search for ‘extradition’ in the Revised Edition of the Laws on the JLIB site at the following link:
Jersey Legal Information Board - (Extradition)
Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive
(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.
Article 23 Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.