The Select Committee, in the coming days, will be meeting with Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, the unelected Lieutenant Governor Sir John McColl, Law Officers and unelected Bailiff Sir Michael Birt. Then they will be meeting with States Members. The Select Committee WILL NOT be meeting with the public.
Jersey politician, Deputy Mike Higgins, among others, has submitted a written submission (below) which makes for extremely alarming reading, yet an oh so familiar tale of alleged corruption in Jersey's government, Civil Service, Judiciary and elsewhere.
Deputy Higgins has told us; "I have been contacted by more than 15 people, to include, former Police Officers, family members of serving Officers and members of the public. The number of cases is growing on a daily basis." The Deputy went on to say; "I am swamped with allegations/evidence of the breakdown in the rule of law and am working round the clock in an attempt to address them all."
Deputy Higgins said "I have attempted to raise these matters in the States (Island's parliament) and the Home affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, refuses to answer, or evades, questions regarding allegations of perversion of the course of justice by the Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police and whether he will call in an external Police Force to investigate these allegations. Indeed the Minister has gone one step further and stated he doesn't believe that questions such as these should be asked in the States and would like to see Standing Orders (rules) changed to prevent them being asked in future."
Written evidence from Michael Higgins Issues relating to Good Government.
My name is Michael Higgins. I am a Deputy representing St Helier Districts 3 and 4 in the States of Jersey, the Island’s Parliament. I was first elected to the States in 2008 and subsequently in 2011. We all currently serve a three year term of office.
By way of background I was a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch) for twelve years. A lecturer in Economics, Law and Banking at Highlands College in Jersey for 18 years and a member of the Legal and Policy Team at the Jersey Financial Services Commission (the Island’s Financial Regulator) for 12 years before entering politics.
The purpose of my submission is to draw to the Committee’s attention my serious and grave concerns, which I know are shared by a number of my colleagues and many Islanders, about various aspects of the governance of Jersey and in particular the Criminal Justice and Legal Systems, the lack of separation of powers between the Legislature, Judiciary and Executive and the recent Referendum on the Structure of Government.
As each one of these topics would take volumes let alone 3,000 words to elaborate on the purpose of my submission is to request that the Committee be prepared to accept highly detailed evidence based written submissions into these areas in the near future (dossiers are currently being compiled) and to hear oral evidence either in Jersey or in the United Kingdom, so that the Committee can judge the validity or otherwise of our concerns.
To give you an appreciation of some of my personal concerns I will list some of those relating to the to the States of Jersey Police which are primarily based on evidence I have received from numerous sources:
1. The failure of the States of Jersey Police and the Jersey Financial Services Commission to properly investigate allegations of fraud by a financial institution;
2. The failure of the States of Jersey Police to properly investigate allegations of perjury by Civil Servants in a Court of Law, especially when it was alleged some of their former colleagues were involved;
3. The failure of the States of Jersey Police to properly investigate or even accept complaints of perversion of the course of justice and other unlawful activities by serving officers;
4. The failure of the Data Protection Commissioner and her staff to properly assist members of the public who put in subject access complaints to the States of Jersey Police in order to pursue cases against the Police when they are blatantly obstructed by the police;
5. Possible abuses of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Jersey) Law, which is modelled on the UK legislation by the States of Jersey Police;
6. The failure of the Home Affairs Minister to take any action, or if he has done so, any effective action in cases where he has been advised by former police officers that serving police officers have been perverting the course of justice;
7. The loss of evidence from police custody relating to child abuse (Haut de la Garenne) and which is highly relevant to the States Compensation Scheme for victims of abuse;
8. The collusion of civil servants and politicians to remove a Minister from Office which was revealed by a former Chief of Police;
9. The swift and in my view illegal removal of the same former Chief of Police;
10. The working of the legal aid system which means that ordinary citizens have almost no chance of getting any justice in the legal system.
Whilst the Committee may have difficulty in believing that such things are going on in a well regulated financial centre with its own democratically elected government and parliament all I ask is that the Committee be prepared to accept the written submissions when they are completed and hear oral evidence from those with the concerns rather than the normal Executive members and Civil Servants the UK authorities normally hear from and have contact with.
I am turning to the Committee for assistance because it is exceptionally difficult to successfully address these issues in Jersey and external assistance is needed to end the abuses that are occurring in this Island. Unfortunately what I am describing is nothing new but most people are afraid to raise their heads above the parapet as they know they will experience a whole range of subtle and not so subtle pressure to keep quiet or go away.
Although the Deputy has said he is swamped with evidence of wrongdoing he would still like to hear from anyone else who has been wronged, or failed by, the States of Jersey Police, the Criminal and Civil Justice System or the Data Protection Office and has evidence to support their claims.
Deputy Higgins can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Justice Select Committee's remit, and further submissions can be read HERE.