Legal proceedings (FOI)
Legal proceedings (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 25 June 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Could I have clarification as to whether the Jersey legal system is adversarial or inquisitorial and if there is a distinction in this regard between the civil and criminal court systems.
Also given any distinction identified in the answer please could it be made clear as to whether there are any exceptions to the general rules and more specifically do the civil courts ever have an inquisitorial role / duty in an otherwise adversarial system which may govern their proceedings.
We have not found in our records any information clarifying whether the Jersey legal system is adversarial or inquisitorial which is not reasonably available to the applicant already. Similarly information clarifying the distinctions between different types of proceedings where a process may be adversarial or inquisitorial is already reasonably available to the applicant.
The information requested is absolutely exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 because it is reasonably available to the applicant by other means. We outline below where the applicant may obtain the information.
The Jersey Legal Information Board (JLIB) provides comprehensive information on the laws and the legal system in Jersey on its website www.jerseylaw.je. Further information is available on the Jersey Citizens Advice website under their Legal section at the following link:
The JLIB site has many ways of searching and navigating to discover information and the following is just one suggestion. As a starting point on JLIB one might search for the terms ‘adversarial’ or ‘inquisitorial’ in the Jersey and Guernsey Law Review on this page:
Jersey Legal Information Board search
Here you will find discussion and commentary on the law with reference to Jersey Judgments (which are published in the Judgments section), Rules of Court (which are published in the Courts section) and Laws (which are published in the Laws Section). For example this speech by the Master of the Royal Court discusses the impact of the introduction of an overriding objective and other procedural changes to the Royal Court Rules on the conduct of civil disputes including their adversarial nature:
Article on speech by Matthew Thompson to the Jersey Law Society
and this article by Pamela Scriven QC and Timothy Hanson discusses the interplay between Criminal and Family proceedings including the role of inquisitorial procedure:
Interplay between Criminal and Family Proceedings
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.