Judiciary being asked to recuse themselves (FOI)
Judiciary being asked to recuse themselves (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 12 March 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
My questions relate to the Judiciary in Jersey.
What is the procedure in a Jersey court when a party to a case or dispute (civil and criminal courts) wants a judge to recuse themselves from hearing a case at any stage.
Are the judges required to give an explanation (both verbal and written) if they are asked to recuse themselves and is the fact recorded in a register that is available for the parties and the public to view.
For each year from the beginning of 2015 to the present day has a judge in the Royal or Magistrates Court been asked to recuse themselves? If they have briefly state that name of the case, the judge and the reason given and the outcome ie whether the judge recused themselves or declined to do so and if the latter the reason for not doing so.
A party may make an application (ordinarily by way of a summons) submitting reasons to the presiding judge why they ought to recuse themselves from hearing the substantive matter. The judge may hear submissions from the other parties to the case (whether supporting or objecting to the recusal) before deciding whether it is in the best interest of justice to recuse themselves.
In response, the judge will decide in open court whether to recuse themselves. These decisions are recorded by the court audio recording system as well as in an Act of Court document and reasons may be published as part of a judgment on the Jersey Legal Information Board (JLIB) website www.jerseylaw.je. The decision of the judge may be appealed and that appeal is heard by a different judge. We do not maintain a register of recusal requests.
To establish the list of all recusal requests in the Magistrate’s Court and the Royal Court since 2015 would take longer than 12.5 hours because it would involve a review of all Acts of Court in all cases. For those cases where reasons have been included in a judgment they are available on the JLIB site and they may be found by searching judgments for the term ‘recuse’. See the following link:
Jersey Legal Information Board: Recuse
Referring to the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011:
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 any fee of 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.