Saturday, 28 May 2016

P.19/2016 A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.



P.19/2016.


On the 14 June 2016 one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation ever to have been brought to the Island's Parliament (and there have been a few) is expected to get voted through unanimously.

The Proposition (P.19/2016) was submitted under the name of the Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, signed by Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf. Although all sorts of other propositions, and protocols, have been brought forward, by a number of different bodies/politicians in the past in an attempt to silence Blogsites, this is the latest incarnation.

In theory this piece of legislation, when passed, could also silence the mainstream/accredited/State Media (MSM). It seeks to make a criminal out of anyone who offends anyone online including the MSM. That is to say that if the BBC, or the JEP (the latter having an online comment section on its website) broadcast/print something about a friend of mine (or yours) and our friend DOESN'T find it offensive but you and I DO  then we (according to what Philip Ozouf has said) can go to the police and make a criminal complaint against the BBC/JEP and it could be charged. The same goes for all media including ITV/CTV etc.

Of course we know, in reality this is utter nonsense, any complaint made against the media, to the cops, will be ignored and the cops will tell the complainant to take it up with the media's regulatory body. (even if it is unfit for purpose or non-existent.)

Where are the media, the journalist, in all this? Why aren't they speaking out against it? The Media should be challenging government and speaking up not only for the little guy, but for themselves. As something as important as free speech they should be campaigning hard against this draconian law. Their silence  deafening.

We, as responsible online Bloggers, argue there is no need for this law/proposition because there are adequate harassment/libel/defamation and not least Data Protection laws. The four proxies who, through the data Protection Commissioner, were able to bring a court case against former Health Minister, and Whistle-Blower Stuart Syvret. The court case had the added bonus (for the proxies) of being held in secret so the proxies didn't have to go through the added "stress and harm" of having the allegations made against them public. The court case was brought under the guise that what Mr. Syvret said about them, online, caused them "stress" and "harm." Being offended on the internet can/will bring stress and harm so there is no need for this law because any alleged victim can go to the Data Protection Commissioner with their complaint and have their court costs paid for by the taxpayer.......All in total (not so) secret.

Former AG and current Deputy Bailiff 
Tim Le Cocq.

VFC filled in the online survey published before the proposition was tabled and it mostly covered internet sites geared up for children. snapchat/Bebo/Facebook etc. If this legislation is supposed to deter children from bullying other children online then why is it that children between the ages of 14-18 will almost certainly NOT be prosecuted? This little nugget came about from answers given at the Scrutiny Review Hearing (Thurs 26th May) where the Chief Minister and Home Affairs Minister were being questioned, although it was a member of the Law Office who was doing all the answering and there really was no need for either Minister to be there. Indeed it was the former Attorney General, (Tim Le Cocq)? who dreamed up this proposition so instead of sending one of his minions to the Scrutiny Hearing why didn't he turn up himself?

It has been stated that there is next to no chance of any 14-18 year old being charged with any crime as a result of this law. In fact the worst that can be expected to happen is they will appear before a Parish Hall Inquiry. That's not all together a bad thing because children should not have to be criminalised, but I thought this law was to protect children online? Where's the deterrent? But we know it's not being brought to protect children, it's being brought to silence political dissent and Blogs.

Former Deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman

Jersey's alleged corrupt and politicised judiciary has history in financially ruining those who have spoken out against the government, former Deputies Trevor/Shona Pitman, Stuart Syvret and possibly many others (we can't know how many secret court cases there have been). The legislation allows for a two-year prison sentence and an UNLIMITED fine. As became apparent at the Scrutiny Hearing, the fine imposed will be reflective of the crime and NOT the ability to pay. So the person writing the "offensive" comment online can be financially ruined for life as well as imprisoned for two years. It also became apparent at the Scrutiny hearing that the legislation seeks to approve two years in prison AND (not or) an unlimited fine.

This is a scary piece of legislation that will kill what very little free speech this island has left. Far from being a protection/deterrent for children against online bullying it is the latest tool being used to shut down free speech..........It's a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.

Readers should also be interested in this comment from TOM GRUCHY.

Submitted by Team Voice.


46 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hard to say exactly but since no politician likes to be criticised "offended" the huge majority will vote in favour of it not understanding its wider draconian implications. Others will vote, knowing full well its wider implications and some (very few) will see the huge assault it is on free speech and vote against it, possibly 3 or 4 members.

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    2. One thing above all demonstrates just what a waste of taxpayers' money this will be. All any outspoken on line critic will need to do is either A) base him or her self off island or B) base his or her "offensive" blog outside of the island. A joke pure and simple and a very costly one to we taxpayers yet again for sure.

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  2. The ghost of the Jersey Sun28 May 2016 at 20:14

    Perhaps the JEP are not that bothered? Not because they would disagree with the contentions of this post.

    Simply because, as the latest desperate price hike demonstrates, wth regular sales now at an all-time low of (allegedly) only four figures.....

    The dear old JEPravda is tipped to be long vanished into the anals of history well before the decade is out.

    Can't say it will be missed. Leopards really don't change their spots.

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  3. Can you explain your observation that the man some call Dim Tim was behind this? All very suspicious if true. Because I am sure that I remember a States Member, probably Pitman, saying that Dim Tim while Attorney General had claimed the existant harassment laws were 'never meant' to be used to thrawt deranged cyber stalkers. Cowardly yobs like the one amongst the four proxies used to silence Syvret in the secret court case.

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  4. Is this a Jersey "1st" or a copy of another jurisdiction?

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  5. last night I was at a party of adults and during the evening the subject of the (daily liar)otherwise known as the jep came up, their were 23 people there and 9 said that due to the price rise and poor quality of the print they would be cancelling their copies also saying that the company say among other reasons for the price hike was that they had to cover the cost of printing in colour, did their customer's ask them to print in colour??

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps the editor of the Rag thinks colour piccies makes their lies against the good and the brave more plausible?

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  6. Why did the Deputy Bailiff suggest this draconian law?

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  7. I am aware of at least two long standing local blogs that will be cease to be should this lamentable and thoroughly illiberal law be enacted. "You have the right to remain silent" never was more pertinent.

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  8. As well as the jep loosing readers/listeners by the day, BBC radio Jersey are also. One thing good that comes from this is.... Less spin and propaganda spread!?

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    Replies
    1. The poster who said the fading JEP will never change its spots was wholly correct. The hatred of those behind the paper for those courageous enough to rock the boat will never lessen.

      Mark my words any opportunity even now to attack the likes of the former Deputies Pitman you publish a photo of in your post, Stuart Syvret, Graham Power and especially the legendary Lenny Harper will be seized with both hands.

      The JEP is driven by hate for such champions and an obsession with foisting utter compliant half wits on us at every election to maintain the status quo. Good ridence to it when it disappears.

      The 'filthy rag' as many call it has definitely brought about its own demise.

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  9. Voice. Do you or any of your readers know if we members of the public can make submissions highlighting the dangers, and obvious ECHR abuses apparent in this law being passed?

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    Replies
    1. Can't see those behind this assault on democracy wanting to hear from the very plebs they want to suppress and oppress.

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    2. After looking on the Scrutiny Panel's website I can't find an address to submit evidence to this review. The Panel Chairman can be contacted from HERE.

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  10. Barking's Bag Carrier29 May 2016 at 16:37

    Deputy Bailiffs - about as much use to Jersey and justice as a chocolate teapot as they are - exist as Crown Officers.

    So what the hell is Tim Le Cocq doing putting forward ideas for legislation? We are informed after all that Legislature and Judiciary are separate in Jersey.

    Yes, and if pigs could fly the States Chamber would be the island's second airport. This place gets more corrupt every year.

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  11. Crazy. In answer to Constable Out's question above, it seems to me as though these proposals mirror proposals mooted in the Irish parliament last year (which fortunately were thrown out when the adults in the room said they weren't necessary).

    https://soundmigration.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/labour-censorship-ireland-social-media/

    http://www.thejournal.ie/lorraine-higgins-cyberbullying-2192577-Jul2015/

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    Replies
    1. Ireland obviously don't have an Assembly packed with unthinking political poodles and closet fascists?

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    2. ^ both types exist in their abundance in Irish politics...fortunately there are (usually) just about enough checks and balances to put manners on them.

      At the end of the day, as Stuart Syvret never tires of saying, it comes back to basic checks and balances and the rule of law.

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  12. It does appear that Syvret is right yet again. The Jersey Judiciary are calling the shots, aided by the Data protection office. Most of the politicians stand on the sidelines clueless, those that are not clue less are propably corrupt when it comes to this latest proposed law.

    How can the fines be without limit and two years in Jail ? Unbelievable the Jersey Way at it's sickening best.

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  13. In France the terrorists used the gun to kill freedom of speech the Jersey terrorist uses his Data Commissioner and legislature. What times we live.

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  14. #jesuisJersey

    you don't always need guns and bullets. Someone remind Senator Ozouf.

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  15. I see JEP are reporting you on their web page. Wonders will never cease. What are they up to?

    Are they using you as a proxy or setting you up or what?

    Link

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  16. Only in Jersey!31 May 2016 at 16:33

    Most telling that after all of your and other bloggers cutting edge journalism over recent years the JEP now, finally decide to quote you on a story they twist to be about 'bullying' rather than oppression. Even more revealing that the first comment they publish on the story is from 'King of Kings'. This being an abusive avatar known to be shared between an embittered, twice failed election candidate and a man once convicted for harassment. Both individuals being two of the very worst offenders in regard to the on line abuse this law pretends to be targeting.

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  17. Alongside this worrying development is the recent deregulation of Gazettes. Now that the States are no longer obliged to publish them will this be the first step to hiding information from the public inside their impenetrable website? This government talks about transparency but behaves as if it has a different agenda by stifling (controlling?) debate and the distribution of information

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  18. So if as a registered voter I had objected to the disgusting Broadlands advert misrepresenting my local Deputy at the time and her husband in the Evening Post the newspaper would have been forced to remove it and the editor who had allowed its publication and the estate agent creating it would be fined and/or imprisoned?

    I havr to ask. Does Senator Ozouf and the Deputy Bailiff really think we all came down with yesterday's rain? Nobody can say that our islanders leaders don't have a vibrant sense of humour that's for sure!

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  19. "France is our nearest neighbour. There was atrocities we have never seen before and all communities from around the world needed to stand in solidarity with our French cousins to condemn what as an unacceptable infringement on the ability for freedom of expression and speech."

    It was a truly humbling experience.

    – SENATOR PHILIP OZOUF

    http://www.itv.com/news/channel/2015-01-12/philip-ozouf-represented-jersey-in-paris-unity-rally/

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, soooooo sincere is Our Phil. Believes in protecting free speech. Just not over here.

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    2. I first started to take note of on line political comment due to two things.

      The brief possibility that we might actually get a proper party political system. And the breaking of the Haut de la Garenne scandal.I guess that means approximately a span of some seven or eight years.

      During that time I can say unequivocally that I think some of the worst on line abuse of people was regularly to be found on the mainstream media pages. Worst of these in my opinion was Channel TV and the JEP.

      Abuse on blogs if you take the hate sites linked to a notorious internet troll and a disgraced former Housing Minister and Deputy who lost his seat at the last election out of the equation was almost non-existent.

      So you have to ask who is this new law really aimed at and why? The justification for it simply just doesn't stack up.

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    3. Great research Rico and while I hope it is still legal I want to say what a hypocrite Philip Ozouf is. He cashes in on photo-ops when people have lost their lives fighting for free speech in Paris and then he tries to shut down free speech in Jersey. Or is he saying it's alright to offend Muslims but not to offend Jersey politicians online?

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    4. Wasn't there a vigil held in the Royal square for the Charlie Ebdo attack? Who called that vigil and will the same people be calling for something similar over this political attack on free speech? Will Philip Ozouf turn up to it? Hypocrite.

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    5. A vigil also hijacked by the despicable Bailiff of the day, Michael Birt, who allowed the secret court oppression of Stuart Syvret and set up the Pitmans with the dishonest, disgraced Jurat to ensure they had less chance of justice than a cat in hell. Government we deserve.

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  20. Freedom of Speech online has already been covered in Court and the rights of victims takes precedence under Human Rights Law.

    "Mr Syvret has sought to rely on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is however, established law that the right to freedom of expression contained in Article 10 has to be balanced against the right to respect for private and family life contained in Article 8 of the Convention. Whilst we accept that Article 8 does not encompass a right to privacy as such, there is ample authority that the Court is required in cases such as the present one to have regard to the rights of individuals such as the representors in the present case to respect for their private and family life. We are in no doubt that the right of Mr Syvret to freedom of expression is outweighed by the right of the representors to protection under Article 8."

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    1. And that is why P.19 is so dangerous. It would be terminal to functioning democracy in any event. Against the evidenced conduct of Jersey's politicised, biased "court" system, as referred to above, it will be used to suppress anyone who criticises the government or the allies of the government.

      As in the case above, "proxies" will be used by the state, will be supported with tax-payers money and public-authority power, to pursue any and silence any independent journalist who exposes forms and examples of wrongdoing which have been deemed to be worthy of covering-up by the Jersey authorities.

      As the most rudimentary of studies of ECtHR case-law show, the right to freedom of speech is given the highest protection. Freedom of speech is not limited only to 'pleasant', 'nice', or 'non-controversial' communication or expressions. The fact that it is controversial expressions of opinion that need protection is recognised by the court in Strasbourg.

      As has been so long shown by this blog and its comments, Jersey's courts are not real, are not free of bias. The judgments against Syvret are just such evidence. No respectable court would have gone against ECtHR established precedence.

      The relevant precedents protect public-interest disclosure. That can be seen every day of the week in the British press. People who have behaved corruptly are exposed by the press. Public-interest disclosure trumps 'personal privacy' when wrongdoing can be demonstrated. The 'remedy' held by the individuals is to sue for defamation. The state-sponsored, 'defamation-law-precedent' we see in Jersey against Stuart Syvret has no counter-part in any other place in the British Isles. The Jersey judge-made-law is worse, in fact, than that to be found in Putin's Russia.

      Further, the 'judges' in the case cited were all chosen and appointed by the directly conflicted Jersey Bailiffs, so the court itself was structurally unlawful from the very start. And, further, the case was conducted in secret. it was therefore axiomatically impossible for Syvret to defend, and was thus unlawfully non-compliant with his Article 6 Rights.

      No respectable court would have chosen to introduce judge-made-law, that is, set precedents which actually have the effect of crippling an entire community's right to free-speech, in a case in which there were state-supported, tax-payer-supported proxies, against a single-un-resourced individual, who had been denied legal representation.

      Further, it must be born in mind that other members of the public, a significant number of them, have sought similar protections as those given to the four proxies in light of the state-protection given to them. As has been referred to numerous times on the blogs, Rico Sorda, and Trevor and Shona Pitman amongst them. The result? No such protection has been given to those with anti-establishment views. Another example of the oppressive and suppressive bias of the Jersey Establishment.

      The type of state-suppression we're reminded of, which the Jersey authorities conduct against Stuart Syvret re-enforces his reasons for not engaged with the COI in the absence of legal representation. Who knows what crazed, banana-republic suppressions would be carried out against him if he said the "wrong" thing. As he points out, and as is usefully illustrated by the comment at 06:19, Syvret is the only person in all this to be subjected to state-oppression.

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    2. Regarding the above comment and especially that at 06.19.

      If the Bailiff's court in the secret case against Stuart Syvret were really so concerned about the overriding sanctity of ECHR Article 8 then perhaps someone can answer this?

      Why was it that in the case of Trevor and Shona Pitman when Channel Television was allowed by the Viscount Michael Wilkins to illegally and without historic precedent publish not just any old details of their en desastre but even their INCOME TAX details why was Article 8 not enforced the same way then?

      As I say not only was this act by Channel Television and the Viscount illegal and in breach of Jersey's Income Tax legislation and Data Protection Law it was beyond argument far more serious a breach of the Article 8 right to privacy Syvret was penalised for.

      This new law will be applied and interpreted with just the same selectivity. It is a tool being developed for oppression.

      On the Pitman example I also know from asking Trevor about this personally that Wilkins apparently claimed there was no need to take any action against ITV or its journalists who broke the law because "it was just a mistake". Maybe Stuart should have tried that line?

      Given that I was told the Bailiff Michael Birt wouldn't take any action against Wilkins for his part in the breach of Article 8 I think we can safely assume this law is nothing but the latest in a toilet roll long list of bogus legislation created to further cement the public's inability to question, let alone challenge the powers that be.

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    3. Strange you claim this because ECHR Article 8 is International Law and the Judge presiding over this Syvret case was from the United Kingdom.

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    4. This comment, 'Strange you claim this because ECHR Article 8 is International Law and the Judge presiding over this Syvret case was from the United Kingdom', is the observation of an idiot and shows the peril of being guided by fools who make claims that have no meaning.

      The entire ECHR, not only Article 8, is international law, binding on member-states of the Council of Europe. Those member-states are bound by the case-law of the ECtHR at Strasbourg.

      That case-law is made on the basis of proportionality and necessity. Where, on the face of things, one right might be seen to conflict against another, the relative importance of the rights at issue, the necessity for one possible right overriding another, and the 'proportionality' of any putative breach are all carefully weighed.

      It is certainly correct that a person's Article 8 right to privacy may be seen to be in conflict with another person's article 10 right to freedom of expression. And certainly, the private affairs of an individual, the acts or omissions of who WERE OF NO PUBLIC-INTEREST MERIT, would tend to attract persuasive Article 8 protection.

      However, as the extant case-law shows, very great importance is attached to Article 10, freedom of speech being one of the necessities for a lawful, functioning society. It is also extensively recognised by the ECtHR that freedom of speech is necessary in the defence of other rights.

      That is why journalism is not illegal. If, for example, person (a) was engaging in some form of dangerous, neglectful, abusive or illegal conduct, a journalist on discovering such facts would be entitled to identify person (a) and publicly report on their misfeasances. Person (a) could argue all they liked about a putative Article (8) right to privacy. But they would get no-where. The ECtHR case-law on such Article 8/Article 10 conflicts is settled. Provided there's an arguable public-interest (which has to constitute a 'public-interest' in the sense of a 'public-good', for example the exposure of crime, or danger to the public, as opposed to mere prurience) Article 10 wins. And an instant's thought shows to even the meanest of intelligence that that must be so; were that not the case, journalism would be illegal. But the Jersey courts set their face against Strasbourg case-law.

      It is interesting that the comment also neglected to mention another ECHR right; one which has even greater power and enforceability than Article 10. That is the Article 6 right to a fair hearing.

      Stuart Syvret's Article 6 rights were trampled into the dirt and wholly denied to him by the Jersey judicial process. The judge may well have come from England. He can have come from Mars for all the odds it makes. If the judge was chosen and appointed by a conflicted party, a party with an hostile interest in seeing Syvret obstructed and damaged, then the proceedings in question would not be compliant with Article 6. And as that was, exactly, the situation, a fact shown even more starkly by the biased and wrong findings of the 'court' against Syvret, the case in question is unlawful.

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  21. Sharrock's wet matress1 June 2016 at 11:17

    How ironic that the Jersey Evening Post is allowing the troll who really started this law off with his obsessive on line stalking to once again harrass and abuse on their pages with offensive posts. Once again he is being allowed to do this as his old TPs bounced cheque fake account on top of his Maureen double act as the Reform unfatuated King of Kings. What this shows us that this new law will be as useless as going to the police because it's enforcement will always be selective. All the Ozoufs, Le Cocqs and JEPs of this world really want is the veneer of a legitimate law to close down sites like this because you tell the truth. We are the East Germany of the English Channel.

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  22. Could not agree more.

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  23. I've since moved practice. My former location, a major city law-firm, was canvassed by the Jersey authorities about the Stuart Syvret situation. It is well-understood by your establishment that the rulings and judgments obtained on-island against Syvret are so unsafe in their entirety as be a source of covert alarm to the UK judicial system, at the highest levels. Your Law Officers' Department incidentally appears to have most major London-based legal practices on retainers.

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  24. @ 17.45

    Even a layman can spot two fundament weaknesses. First two witnesses were convicted criminals mentioned on Syvrets blog they were obviously bearing a grudge or even hatred for Syvret. One after being convicted for a malicious phone call to Syvrets residential address and also malicious non factual blogging before and after the trial. The second had confirmed weapons and stolen hospital drugs at his flat and had other alleged crimes ?

    These people should never have been allowed any where near the trial.

    Therefore certainly this trial in secret, throws up disturbing questions.

    Everyone even courts make mistakes but why has a re-trial not be ordered based on these unreliable witnesses ?

    Why no comment from Jersey's Judiciary or are they happy for dubious dodgy witnesses with police records who know and dislike Syvret to be sponsored and organised by the Data protection head of department to appear in a trial with him as defendant ?

    Why no public trial it had to be in secret.

    Obviously the Data Protection Team were getting advice from the Crown Officers.

    The Judiciary carry on like this and think Jersey and the legal outside world will not notice, how stupid can one get ?

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  25. If people think this law (P19.2016) is dangerous enough now (which it is) then wait until it is (ab)used in Jersey's infamous "JUSTICE" SYSTEM.

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  26. Just catching up with the interesting comments under this important posting.

    As ever, this being Jersey, and as alluded to in some of the comments, I seriously hesitate to respond - never knowing what is safe for me to say - again - and when appointees of the latest directly conflicted Bailiff and Attorney General will turn up - pounding on my door at dawn - again - to haul me off to be imprisoned - again - with zero access to legal representation - again - let alone an objective, lawful, court - again - in secret - again - with thus no possibility of identifying and calling witnesses in my defence - again - in front of more conflicted Freemasons - again - appointed by the conflicted Bailiffs - again - and when I'm imprisoned - again - the conflicted Bailiff - again - simply vetoes my habeas corpus application - again (I still have the letter from last time) - and I have to sit in prison for months - again - for criticising the government - again - without so much as a lawyer. Again.

    I'll risk saying this much; the plainly unlawful conduct of what passes for a "judiciary" in Jersey - as evidenced, and boasted of, and of which is brandished as another de facto threat against me such as the comment at 06:19 - is certainly one of the foremost reasons why I live in fear of engaging with things like the purported 'public-inquiry' into Jersey's decades of concealed child-abuse - in the absence of legal representation.

    I mean - let's face it - we have just witnessed that purported "public-inquiry" serving as a forum before which state-public-authorities - including the Chief Minister's department, the Data Protection Commissioner, the prosecution system, and the actual Police Force - have been given unchallenged, unopposed and uncriticised license to issue public, personally targeted, witness-intimidation and harassment directed against me - against me, specifically, as a named individual.

    I feared - exactly - this kind of conduct - and the inevitable state-reprisals against me which those threats foreshadow - which is why I asked for legal representation at the very start of the CoI process.

    When - eventually - inevitably - the true history of the disgusting conduct of Jersey's mafia is produced, it will be noted that so corrupt was it, that the first public official to expose the island's child-abuse cover-ups became - and remains - the only human being without legal representation in the 21st century - amongst the entire populations - of every Council of Europe signatory state (which includes Putin's Russia) - combined.

    Some facts will be read - and understood - by history - and the deeper meaning will be drawn from them. That is one such fact.

    Stuart Syvret.

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  27. King of Drunks1 June 2016 at 22:39

    The first to be targeted by this law should be the cowardly drunken bully caught making a death threat phone call as a change from his 24/7 cyber trolling. Le Cocq knows who he is but as AG would never act. Probably because he was a pet little proxy boy?

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  28. It is well worth the time looking at this legislation with it's massive 'we consult' preamble.
    Before doing that try the 'Conflicted Judge' test. That test is that you have two groups of people one we will call SSTP the other JSMM. For SSTP find reasons to prosecute, and for JSMM find reasons not to prosecute.
    Now apply those reasons to Article 4.

    (4) A person who, for the purpose of causing annoyance,
    inconvenience or needless anxiety to another –
    (a) sends, by means of a telecommunication system, a message
    that the person knows to be false; or
    (b) persistently makes use of a telecommunication system,
    is guilty of an offence

    I wonder who you will send to prison and hit with an unlimited fine?

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  29. VFC

    Your post says:

    “It seeks to make a criminal out of anyone who offends anyone online including the MSM”

    By coincidence I happened across this article recently, an opinion piece from the Economist, which spells out in detail the dangers in legislation like this.

    There are very big issues at stake here. The comments after the article offer a rich debate, and show that it is not a simple question. Would anyone care to send the article to States members?

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21699909-curbs-free-speech-are-growing-tighter-it-time-speak-out-under-attack

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