members of the public to make submissions under phase 3 of its work. The Inquiry had set three questions, each of which had a 500
word response/answer limit.
What would be required?
It could be argued that Jersey has had adequate Child Care policies/provisions and legislation in place all through the decades of horrific treatment, abuse and paedophilia, inflicted on children in the care of the States Of Jersey.
The problem is that those who rule Jersey are unelected and unaccountable. A recent Jersey Evening Post article published a “Christmas Message” from four of our leaders they were: The Dean (Bob Key) unelected, unaccountable who has a seat, and is able to speak/sway votes in our parliament. The Bailiff (William Bailhache) who is Chief Judge, unelected unaccountable, Crown Appointee, Civic Head and unelected speaker of our parliament. The Lieutenant Governor Unelected, unaccountable Crown Appointee who sits in the Island’s parliament and is (as far as I understand his role) supposed to be the eyes and ears for The Crown and ensure good governance and the rule of law in Jersey/Crown Dependencies. Despite being shown/made aware of alleged judicial/political corruption at the highest level he has turned a blind eye, he has, and is, failing in this duty and has no accountability. The Chief Minister (Ian Gorst) the only elected, accountable (at the ballot box) “leader” out of the four leaders.
Some kind of outside (or even inside) accountability would be required in order to make the islands’ children safer. The Inquiry has seen, and heard, evidence from a number of witnesses who have explained that those who are in a position to hold perpetrators to account ignore policy/legislation and instead of dealing with the perpetrator in the correct fashion, more often than not, will be friends with the perpetrator, and in order to avoid any bad publicity or uncomfortable situations will either turn a blind eye, or merely move the perpetrator sideways rather than sack them or report them to the police.
What would be required is for the Jersey authorities to abandon “The Jersey Way” and face up to its sordid and ghastly past and set about cleaning up the politicised and corrupt judicial system. Authorities need to start putting the people/children of Jersey before the reputation of Jersey.
What would need to change?
Jersey needs an independent prosecution service as in the UK. Too much power is given to the (politicised/conflicted) Attorney General who, as the Inquiry has seen/heard, evidence of, has many questions to answer as to which cases are/aren’t prosecuted in the courts. There needs to be affordable legal representation for victims of crime and the Jersey Government/Law Offices’ Department. An ability to bring private prosecutions against those cases the AG refuses to prosecute. As things stand the AG’s decision NOT to prosecute CANNOT be appealed, he has the final say and cannot be held to account for his decision. Jersey needs regular outside INDEPENDENT scrutiny for all its departments and in particular the judiciary. For instance, according to the Home Affairs Minister, the Jersey police force has had NO outside scrutiny/review for SEVEN YEARS. The Inquiry will be aware that (pre-Harper and Power) the Force was accused of complicity in the cover-up of Paedophilia and other such crimes. If the force (or any other public authority) is not regularly, and independently, scrutinized there is potential, and strong possibility/probability that the rot and corruption that Jersey is so infamous for will (if it’s possible) only get worse and send us back to how this all started in the first place.
There needs to be a separation between the legislator and the judiciary. This has been recommended in a number of reviews/reports including Clothier and Carswell. The parliament needs to have an elected/accountable speaker who does not have a conflict of interest.
Jersey needs to be cleaned up but who can clean it up is the sticking point. Constitutionally the UK (as mentioned above) has responsibility for the rule of law and good governance in all Crown Dependencies including Jersey. The UK exercised this power not so long ago when it stepped in at the Turks & Caicos Islands but is abdicating its duty when it comes to Jersey. My personal view is that the current UK government is probably as corrupt as our judiciary (the real power in Jersey) and the Island, or its children, would be no better off if it was to attempt to restore good governance and the rule of law.
There needs to be a cleaned up judicial system that protects whistle-blowers and doesn’t subject them to secret Kangaroo Courts for speaking up for victims of alleged horrible crimes. A judicial system that won’t force gagging orders on those who try to protect their children. A judicial system that will make a criminal out of those who harm our children and not those who try to protect them.
What part could you play?
The people of Jersey are powerless to play any part of changing the system. We cannot change our government because we don’t have a party political system. We can’t vote out the Attorney General/The Law Offices’ Department or the lieutenant Governor because NONE of them are elected or have any kind of accountability. We have a mainstream media who question nothing and see it as their job just to copy and paste government Press Releases. It has buried damming evidence and alleged corruption of the authorities for years.
The only part that can be played by ordinary citizens is to try and put some kind of pressure on those in charge by reporting their failings on Social Media. Realistically there is nothing that can be done to rid this island of the rot and that is a sad, and frightening, reality because it means children are no safer now (nor will they ever be) than they were in the 40’s/50’s/60’s/70’s/80’s/90’s/noughties."(END)