Friday, 25 February 2011

Jersey Law Office(r)s (2)


In this second instalment looking at the Jersey Law Office(r)s (Part one) with P19/2011, due to be debated this coming Tuesday the 1st of March 2011, Deputy Montfort Tadier has lodged an amendment to Deputy Bob Hill's amendment and we thought it would make for an interesting "part 2"

P19/2011 is the proposition lodged by Senator Francis Le Gresley which simply asks the Council of Ministers to keep a promise and that is to hold an "independent" Committee of Inquiry to investigate any issues which remain unresolved in relation to historical abuse in the Island.

The Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel have lodged their own comments in support for a Committee of Inquiry. Deputy Bob Hill has submitted his own amendment all of which can be viewed HERE


Below is Deputy Tadier's amendment, which simply put, is stating that not only has justice got to be done, but justice has to be "seen" to be done.


Quite rightly the Deputy wants the role(s) of our Law Office(r)s examined, question is, will the Law Office(r)s want their Role examined?


STATES OF JERSEY

HISTORICAL CHILD ABUSE: REQUEST TO COUNCIL OF MINISTERS (P.19/2011) – AMENDMENT (P.19/2011 Amd.) – AMENDMENT
Lodged au Greffe on 23rd February 2011
by Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade

STATES GREFFE

HISTORICAL CHILD ABUSE: REQUEST TO COUNCIL OF MINISTERS (P.19/2011) – AMENDMENT (P.19/2011 Amd.) – AMENDMENT

PAGE 3 –
After point 6, insert the following point –

“7. Was a consistent and impartial approach taken when deciding on which cases to prosecute; and was the process free from political influence or interference at any level?”.

DEPUTY M. TADIER OF ST. BRELADE

P.19/2011 Amd.Amd.

REPORT
In its Report (R.8/2011), in which the Council of Ministers has set out its reasons for not pursuing a Committee of Inquiry, it talks of the Prosecution Process and states –

“The Council is in no doubt that fair and impartial justice has been delivered.”

Whilst this may be the case for the Council of Ministers, and possibly many or all States members, it is not true of the majority of those who directly or indirectly were let down by the States in the past. Indeed, their opinion, for the most part, is that there most certainly is doubt that fair and impartial justice has been delivered. Whether or not this position is actually correct is another matter, but it stands to reason that those who were at the receiving end of States’ inability to ensure that they were protected when they most needed protecting are unlikely to trust that same State when it comes to matters of deciding which prosecutions to pursue.

R.8/2011 then goes on to say –
“In July 2009, the then Attorney General also made a statement to the States Assembly in relation to cases where he had directed that there should be no further action.”.

This is true, and indeed the Attorney General did also say that giving such detail about the decision making process was unusual, but he did so given the great public interest and scrutiny of the Historic Abuse Inquiry cases.

Whilst this statement will have been reassuring to States members and many others, it is ultimately unverifiable in nature and from the perspective of those who remain distrustful of the ‘system’ will ultimately be seen as ‘trust us – we know best.’ Indeed, in its recent newsletter the Jersey Care Leavers Association restated its position that it felt they had ‘been denied justice time and time again and been ignored by the States of Jersey,’ and that cases had been ‘dropped at the 11th hour when there was ample evidence to prosecute.’

Deputy Hill himself states in the report to his amendment –

“The Assembly may wish to consider whether Ministers have done enough to restore and strengthen the confidence of ordinary Islanders in our system of justice, and whether the assurances so far given will be seen by the public at large as convincing and credible.”.

He goes on to say –

“If significant numbers of people, whether justified or otherwise, do not have confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the justice system, then that lack of confidence is in itself a significant problem.”.

There have also been allegations as far back as the notorious radio exchange between former Senators F.H. Walker and S. Syvret when the suggestion was mooted that Jersey might be tempted to prioritise its reputation and business interests above those of the victims themselves. Whilst even the mere suggestion of this is offensive to most of us, it is still something which needs to be looked at if any Committee of Inquiry is to be meaningful and comprehensive.

Finally, the Deputy of St. Martin is quite correct in his report to draw attention to the fact that the independence of the Law Officers in taking prosecution decisions is paramount, and this amendment does not seek to question that, but affirm it. This amendment seeks to include within the terms of reference of any eventual Committee of Inquiry to establish that at all times during the process of decision-making, political interference of any kind was not attempted.

To conclude, the decision whether or not to have a Committee of Inquiry is ultimately for States members. However, if we are to have one – which I hope we do – it is necessary that it be comprehensive and meaningful and so must include an examination of the prosecution processes, amongst other things.

Financial and manpower implications

There are no additional financial or manpower implications arising from this amendment.(End)


Bottom line is, do the people of Jersey have enough confidence in our Judicial system, for a Committee of Inquiry not to bother examining what the Law Office(r)s have, or haven't been doing?



21 comments:

  1. Deputy Tadier

    Research the Shocking case of "Blanche Pierre". This tragic case alone should be enough to shine a very bright light towards the Law Office. I have no doubt that SS will be using it in one of his court cases because it is shocking and horrendous what went on.

    Also, to keep you busy this weekend there is also another case that you should look at. This is also another Shocking case and it is the case of the "BON*ERS"

    Research Deputy and ask for help on any bits you are not sure

    rs

    ReplyDelete
  2. No charges for couple accused of cruelty

    By Diane Simon

    A COUPLE accused of physical cruelty to children between 30 and 40 years ago will not be charged because Attorney General William Bailhache has decided that there is insufficient evidence against them.

    Mr Bailhache, pictured, said that there was also a significant conflict of evidence about the way the couple treated children in their care. Some of the conflict is between one complainant and two of that person’s siblings.

    A statement issued by Mr Bailhache said that three complainants in the couple’s care between 1967 and 1977 alleged that they and other children had been subjected to excessive corporal punishment. None of the allegations was in relation to Haut de la Garenne. However, some of the witnesses named as victims denied that the couple ever used any excessive force, and spoke in very positive terms about the quality of care they received.

    The couple, who live in the Island, were arrested on Tuesday 24 June, when the man was 70 and the woman was 69, and questioned by the police. At the time, it was reported that the couple were released after St Helier Chef de Police Centenier Danny Scaife refused to charge them.

    Article posted on 27th August, 2008 - 3.00pm



    Abuse suspects freed

    By Andy Sibcy

    A COUPLE arrested yesterday on suspicion of child abuse in connection with the Haut de la Garenne inquiry have been released – because St Helier’s most senior honorary officer refused to charge them.

    Detectives from the States police said that they were left with ‘no alternative’ but to let the 70-year-old man and 69-year-old woman go late last night.

    No explanation has been given why the honorary officer, Centenier Danny Scaife (pictured), declined to charge.

    A statement released by the States force and written by deputy police chief Lenny Harper said that the Centenier had made his decision ‘despite stating that the evidence was present’.

    Mr Harper said later that he wanted to make it clear that he had ‘no difficulty with, or criticism of, the Centenier at all. He was just trying to do his job in difficult circumstances.’

    Article posted on 25th June, 2008 - 3.00pm

    Start researching Deputy

    There is plenty for your speech

    rs

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tracked down by TV
    By Elaine Byrne
    AN alleged abuser at a former States care home — who police thought was dead — has been found living in France.

    Alan Maguire , who ran Blanche Pierre children’s home with his wife Jane Maguire, were exposed last night in BBC’s Panorama programme called ‘Jersey: Island of Secrets’.

    Former orphans who were under the care of the States claimed that they had been mentally and physically abused by the Maguire couple at the children’s home during the 1980s.

    The documentary also uncovered evidence that warnings about child abuse at Haut de la Garenne were covered up.

    Article posted on 1st April, 2008 - 12.00am




    Syvret goes to police with child abuse concerns
    By Elaine Byrne
    SENIOR civil servants could be questioned by police after Senator Stuart Syvret made a formal complaint about a number of them.

    The sacked Health Minister wants police to investigate whether any current and former civil servants committed criminal offences by ‘attempting to pervert the course of justice’ by allegedly covering up child abuse.

    Allegations that orphans at the former Blanche Pierre children’s home were beaten and had Dettol poured down their throats led the Senator to contact the police.

    Senator Syvret said: ‘If I had to describe the key moment when I realised the full, horrifying futility of politics – it was at this moment.’

    He said that he only became aware of the alleged abuses last year and demanded to see all files on Blanche Pierre, which was run by Alan and Jane Maguire during the 1980s.

    ‘I was reading files of extensive evidence which described years of the most foul abuse throughout the 1980s – and the civil service of the day, in a report from 1990, conceded that the conduct of the Maguire’s had been ”unacceptable” – but by way of mitigation it was a stressful job. ‘But – no problem: Mrs McGuire agreed to retire voluntarily from running the group home and would, instead, come and work in the Family Development Centre.’

    .

    Article posted on 5th April, 2008 - 12.00am


    Deputy Tadier

    Check what Law Firm was representing the Abuse Victims of Blanche Pierre. The more I think about it Blanche Pierre should be right up there as one of the biggest scandals of the modern decade. It has everything that is wrong with the current situation in Jersey.

    Research hard Deputy; Tuesday is fast approaching

    rs

    ReplyDelete
  4. William Bailhache to a UK Lawyer "there will be NO prosecutions"!

    ReplyDelete
  5. An interesting debate.

    Quite obviously - what passes for a prosecution system in Jersey - and the archaic powers of the politicised parish police - are THE problem in the island.

    Any crimes that are embarrassing or problematic to anyone well-in with the Jersey oligarchy - or embarrassing to their system itself - just don't get prosecuted.

    The report quoted above suggests that the public need to be certain that no political pressure was placed upon the prosecution decisions of the Law Officers.

    I'm afraid the author - and probably quite a lot of other people - have got it back-to-front.

    The Law Officers ARE Political - they ARE the central power in Jersey.

    It is the case that people like Bill Bailhache have had a great deal more influence on people like Ogley and Walker that there was ever any chance of them having influence over him.

    Bailhache and Le Cocq were largely responsible for so much of the political insanity we witnessed during 2007/8/9.

    That's how the Jersey system works - the politicians end up being merely disposable front-guys - for the real powers-that-be - the puppeteers.

    And yes - it is the case that in respect of the Maguires, Bill Bailhache was - and remains - hopelessly conflicted.

    He was the senior partner of Bailhache LaBesse when that law firm failed so badly the vulnerable young survivors back in 1998/99.

    Hardly surprising then that he'd want to do all he could to bury the case.

    Well - guess what Bill?

    You are going to be held to account for your actions.

    Stuart

    ReplyDelete
  6. 18. The Deputy of St. Martin will ask the following question of the Chief Minister -

    “It has been announced that in accordance with the terms of his contract the Chief Executive and the Chief Minister have agreed to a mutual termination of his employment. Will the Chief Minister inform Members whether the recent findings in the Napier Report influenced the decision?”

    ReplyDelete
  7. You fail to spot the key problem here time and time again. Its not just one word against another but these cases decades ago. Proof of any abuse has to be proven beyond doubt and there is the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Deputy Tadier how is the research going?

    Now, if you look at the "Blanche Pierre" case and start mentioning it in the States Chamber you straight away cause a conflict of Interest with the Feudal Power.

    As Stuart points out the Abused Children were represented by

    "And yes - it is the case that in respect of the Maguires, Bill Bailhache was - and remains - hopelessly conflicted.

    He was the senior partner of Bailhache LaBesse when that law firm failed so badly the vulnerable young survivors back in 1998/99."

    William Bailhache is now the Deputy Bailiff and the Attorney General at the time was none other than Michael Birt the now Bailiff..

    When Lenny and his team wanted the Maguires extradited he put the papers into the Law Office; guess who the Attorney General was

    William Bailhache

    So, William Bailhache's law firm represent the BP abuse survivors.

    All charges get dropped against the Maguires as big 'AL' pretends he is terminally ill

    Lenny applies for the extradition of the Maguires and William Bailhache says NO

    Just that alone leaves himin a very conflicted situation. Must we just rely on his integrity?

    What's the old saying about Justice being seen to be done?

    rs

    ReplyDelete
  9. There are some links on this Blog posting that can help with research.

    BLANCHE PIERRE

    RS

    ReplyDelete
  10. The real sara kate matt poo peeker cabo le swear26 February 2011 at 11:10

    "You fail to spot the key problem here time and time again. Its not just one word against another but these cases decades ago. Proof of any abuse has to be proven beyond doubt and there is the problem"

    Thats right, in a court of law. The only problem in jersey is getting them to the court of law. We have more conflicts in our law office than there are presently in the middle east. It's all about applying a little common sense..

    ReplyDelete
  11. On a related note.

    "Councils should allow bloggers to film their meetings, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

    His department has contacted councils to ask that they adopt a "modern-day approach".

    It follows reports that some bloggers were stopped from using Twitter or filming during public meetings."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12543554

    Isn't Jersey going in the opposite direction?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rob.

    Yes Jersey is going in the opposite direction. Ben Shenton and his cohorts are doing everything they can to prevent the "public" from reporting on "public" hearings.

    More and more people are getting sick and tired of our state controlled media and want the truth about our government's dealings exposed. Citizen's media "Bloggers" are attempting to do this but the government and their media will do all they can to prevent any kind of openness or transparency, they all have much more to hide than other jurisdictions/media?

    From your link.

    "The move was backed by Mr Taggart, who founded the website OpenlyLocal.com, who said "hyperlocal" bloggers were doing some of the best council reporting in the country and it was "crazy" for councils to stop people "videoing, tweeting and live-blogging their meetings".

    And Jersey has effectively "banned" it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. http://openlylocal.com/ is worth a look for an example of how local government spending and decision making is being opened up by citizens in the UK.

    They are collating a database of all local government spending on suppliers so that we know who are the recipients. Roy Boschat anyone?

    They also have a blog: http://countculture.wordpress.com/

    Coincidentally, the first court case around this was one of my local councillors who uploaded some footage of a Brighton Council meeting onto YouTube. They did a Syvret on him and suspended him but he won on appeal: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/8492297.YouTube_row_councillor_wins_appeal/?action=complain&cid=8898928

    ReplyDelete
  14. A great book for understanding how our government (and yours) likes to keep things secret, and how we can stop them: The Silent State, by Heather Brooke.

    She's the investigative journalist who started the investigation into parliamentary expenses. (The Jersey court gets a brief mention.)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just a quick point. Due to you not having your 'archive' feature turned on it's nigh on impossible to find older information on your blog unless one knows exactly what one is seeking beforehand.

    Currently the only way to browse your blog content is by using the search box. You really should consider activating the archive widget, then people could click through older posts at their leisure. And those posts would then be easily accessible to the wider audience.

    Some of the older entries you have on here are too important to be allowed to disappear beneath pages of more recent entries.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The Blog archive is on. It's one of the last headings down the left-hand side of the page.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It would be helpful if the JCLA were to publish a list of issues they would like to see dealt with by a public inquiry.

    We can then all know what TLS and ILM are talking about when they say a public inquiry will not give the abuse survivors what they want. Although I find that hard to understand when the TOR have not yet been discussed.

    ReplyDelete

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