Wednesday, 6 January 2016
Jersey Lieutenant Governor and "Crown Interest(s)"
Current Lieutenant Governor.
(Credit JEP photo)
What does the term “Crown Interests” mean exactly and who is responsible for them in Jersey? Who are Crown appointees and who appoints them?
We know that the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff, Attorney General, Solicitor General, and the lieutenant Governor are Crown Appointees but as far as my limited knowledge on the subject (of Crown Appointees and Crown Interests) goes I believe it is the Lieutenant Governor who represents the interest(s) of the Crown in Jersey.
The Jersey Government House WEBSITE has a short “job description” of the LG but it is a little sparse on any real detail, including any accountability, who is he accountable to if he becomes part of the Jersey rot and corruption?
What does his job entail exactly? I see it that he has (Crown) responsibility for the rule of law and good governance on this Crown Dependency of Jersey. Is he adequately preforming this role? Who is watching over him? How is he appointed? Who appoints him?
According to Government House website (above link) “The Lieutenant-Governor is appointed by Her Majesty The Queen for a period of 5 years to be her personal representative and impartial adviser.”
But according to WIKIPEDIA: “In 2010 it was announced that the next Lieutenant Governor would be recommended to the Crown by a Jersey panel, thus replacing the previous system of the appointment being made by the Crown on the recommendation of UK ministers.”
So the people he is supposed to be watching over recommend him to the Crown? Who exactly is on this “Jersey Panel” that recommends him for appointment? According to the BBC “A selection panel made up ofthe Bailiff, a senior Jurat and a member of the appointments commission wouldthen make the decision.”
How can it be that the very people he should be grassing up for any wrongdoing effectively get to appoint him? Why is there no mention of this change in the appointment process on Government House’ website?
The Chief of Police is not a “Crown appointee.” He is appointed by the States but thereafter becomes (according to a legal opinion by William Bailhache) an "Officer of the Crown."
This is explained in paragraph 458 of former Chief Police Officer, Graham Power’s statement to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry:
“458. During my time in office there were many examples of ways in which there were subtle attempts by Ministers to control the SOJP. At one point, there was a draft employment law being debated where Ministers would be responsible for disciplining police officers and it was also suggested that they should be “employees” of the States. I asked the Attorney General (William Bailhache) for support and he gave a helpful opinion that police officers were not “employees” but “officers of the crown.” I cannot avoid observing that being an “officer of the crown” did not do me much good when I was removed from office at the stroke of a pen by a single politician. I do not remember the representative of the Crown, HM Lieutenant Governor for Jersey, having much visible influence in the matter.”(END)
Surely it must have been of interest to the Crown when (officer of the crown) Graham Power QPM, was (possibly illegally) suspended by the then Home Affairs Minister ANDREW LEWIS? But apparently NOT.
Regular readers will recall that the former Chief of Police (after being possibly illegally suspended) wrote a letter to the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC), which was NOT shared with the Committee by its Chairman Constable Juliette Gallichan.
VFC published this letter HERE and strongly recommend that readers take a close look at it. It’s difficult to single out the most damming paragraph but offer this one as an example of the letter’s content and alleged criminality and of “a government within a government.”
“It may be that I have provided sufficient information to enable the Committee to consider a way forward on this issue. However, in the hope that it may be helpful, I will offer some personal thoughts and additional information which may assist.
On a straight reading of the available evidence it may occur to many people that the most likely probability is that the former Minister for Home Affairs knowingly provided an account which is distant from the truth. That may be the case, but there are other possibilities. One is that he was not the main author of the process. The known facts allow for an alternative explanation. That is, that the decision to suspend was in fact taken by others for motives of their own, and that the then Minister was brought in at the final stages to provide his signature, and thereby appear to legitimise a process which was conceived by others. Such an interpretation would of course raise the possibility of a “Government within a Government” in which unidentified and unaccountable individuals exercise power outside the parameters of the law. If that was the case then the constitutional implications would be significant. This would be particularly true in the context of a potential impact on the independence of a part of the Criminal Justice System.” (END)
We know by the statement submitted, by the former Police Chief, to the ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry that the Lieutenant Governor (Crown Appointee with responsibility for the rule of law and good governance in the island) received a copy of Mr. Power’s letter to the PPC.
So this begs the question whether the LG considered what it revealed to be "good governance?" If he did then one has to wonder what he thought bad governance would look like? If it was not good governance then what exactly did he do about it and where can we read about the outcome?
Letter of acknowledgment from LG.
The relevant paragraph of Mr. Power’s statement to the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry, which reveals the LG received the letter to PPC, is paragraph 571 but it needs to be read in the context of paragraph 569-571 reproduced below.
“569. I believed then and I believe now that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that Bill Ogley and Andrew Lewis conspired to commit perjury in respect of the circumstances leading to my suspension. I drew my overall concerns to the attention of the Jersey Authorities by way of my letter to the Privileges and Procedures Committee dated 30 October 2009, attached as my Exhibit GP71
570. On 13 November I had a reply from the chair of the committee, Juliette Gallichan, saying that they would not deal with my complaints. The response is attached as my Exhibit GP72. I subsequently learned that the matter was not in fact put before the committee and members learned of it indirectly at a later date. Given that I had provided detailed evidence indicating that a number of senior government figures had apparently conspired to commit serious falsehoods, the response I received was disappointing but not surprising.
571. The letter was shared among a number of friends and supporters who were assisting me at the time. It appears that someone within that group sent a copy of my letter to the Lieutenant Governor for Jersey. I know this because I received an acknowledgement dated 4 November 2009, at Exhibit GP73, which appears to assume that I sent the letter which was not the case. The responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor include the “good governance” of the Island. It is not known what action if any was taken in response to receiving a copy of my letter.”(END)
Constable Juliette Gallichan.
Juliette Gallichan's response to Graham Power was published HERE. Note the Committee (PPC) Was not made aware either of Mr. Power's letter to PPC or of the Chairman's (Juliette Gallichan's)reply.
Did the Crown “OK” the (possibly illegal) suspension of the former police chief? Did the LG mention (to the crown) the alleged illegality contained in the letter sent to the Privileges and Procedures Committee and received by the LG himself if not why not?
As far as I understand it, the LG exists in order to represent British Crown interests in the Island and part of his remit is to observe and come to a view on whether the Island has "Good Governance" and can therefore be left to its own affairs or whether there are any grounds for UK intervention?
The letter, from Graham Power to PPC, draws to the attention of the reader a sequence of events which cast serious doubts upon the integrity of the Island's government at the highest level. It falls plainly within the remit of any interest in "Good Governance" and yet we know nothing about what (if anything) the LG did. It might be that things were done behind the scenes. If they were their effects were/are not visible.
The existence of the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry now raises an interesting question. The Inquiry has repeatedly and publically asked for anyone with relevant evidence to make contact with them. It could be argued that for anyone in public office to be in possession of evidence and not to declare that evidence to the Inquiry is a breach of duty. Particularly as the Inquiry is being repeatedly drawn into the question of whether the Islands institutions are capable of providing a level of protection of the vulnerable which meets UK standards.
So has the Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry asked the LG, to give evidence if not, why not? Will he be offering evidence from the files on the whole episode, which will undoubtedly exist in Government House? Does Government House have a view to offer? If not, then exactly what use are they when evidence of corruption and malpractice lands on their desk? Does this make the LG (the crown) complicit in the Jersey cover-up?
The Lieutenant Governor MUST be called as a witness to the Child Abuse Inquiry, as Must Juliette Gallichan.