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28 October 2014

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You are in: Jersey > Inside the States > States Reform > Separation of powers

Sir Phillip with HRH The Prince of Wales

Sir Phillip with HRH The Prince of Wales

Separation of powers

The bailiff in Jersey is both law-maker and judge and for many it's time to change this dual role.

The Jersey Democratic Alliance wants to see an end to the bailiff's dual role as both law maker and judge.

The JDA say that there's potential for a serious conflict of interest in one person occupying roles in both the island's judiciary and legislature.

But it’s not saying anything new.

States Chamber

The Clothier report published in two thousand recommended a splitting of the bailiff's roles and more recently the deputy of St Saviour, Roy Le Herrisier, and the former health minister, Senator Syvret, have called for these changes.

Speaking at the Time4Change rally in the Royal Square, Senator Stuart Syvret said “we have to have certain fundamental constitutional changes such as a proper separation of powers, we have to have independent judges, and we have to have independent prosecutors.”

The JDA say in the light of the revelations about child abuse in the Jersey the island's reputation at stake and it's because of this that they've decided to announce the proposals now.

They want to see the bailiff replaced within the States by an independent speaker of the house.

Have your say

Do you agree with the JDA? Should the Bailiff’s role as law-maker and judge be removed? If an independent speaker of the house is introduced – should they be directly elected or chosen from existing States members?

last updated: 11/03/2008 at 11:52
created: 11/03/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

The Bailiff is deluded. He believes that he is a greater power than us mere mortals. He believes he is above the law. Remove this man from his position, he's like one of those dangerous fuddy duddy judges in the UK that are completely out of touch with reality who only have the respect of those who brown nose around him. Remove him now for the sake of all the victims of the abuse enquiry. Shame on you Mr Ballache !!!

I take my hat off to the JDA!

Reference - Bridie. You are right. Splitting the Bailiff's powers in pure common sense, and the JDA are political common sense personified. We need an end to the culture of political secrecy and one of the best ways to help bring this about is by adopting a party political system.

Without a doubt, time the country was governed by elected people, for the people, time to END nepatism, egotism. Time to open the doors to open government. The rights of the residents including the freedom of speech, freedom of media and above all the electorate should elect the leader. Closed door politics must end. It is time now for the Bailiff his brother, Walker and other like minded Senators to be requested to leave their positions along with the numerous Civil Servants who have brought this island into disrepute. They ought to go and go NOW

i agree with the j d a. I am not a member of any po;icital party but a lot of the things that they stand for make comman sense.

The JDA are completely right. This type of thing should have been consigned to history long ago.

Get rid of the current Bailiff and Chief minister. After their joint outbursts on May the 9th, they need sacking. It shows how political the current Bailiff is, sack him now! Get an elected speaker, and all Island elected Chief Minister, and a crown appointed chief judge. Time for change was after Clothier, it shows that most of the current lot, including all the ministers, were incapable of change, and only interested is their own jobs, they need to be ousted in the autumn.

Just who exactly does the Bailiff think that he is?He knows that his role is untenable yet he abuses his position with a self preserving attack on media coverage of recent events. Shame he didn't attack himself for his unforgiveable lapse of common sense when allowing certain honorary police through the system.Ooh controversial !!!!

I believe this position should be looked it .There are obvious conflicts of interest here.Independent Judiciary,and impartial spokesperson for speaker

I'm not a JDA supporter.But, fully support a complete review of the Bailiff's role, with a view to ending that role and replacing it with a "Speaker of the House" along the lines of UK Parliament.The time to fix this is now, especially after the Bailiff's embarrassing speech on 9th May 2008.

Montfort Tadier
The separation of power is a basic tenet of modern democracy. This was recognised as far back as the 18th Century. Jersey is already 250 years behind the times. It does not need to slip any further behind.Now is the time for greater transparency, but does our Government want that?

Ian. The JDA haven't said that they came up with the idea. Like most times the difference is - a good example being the call for a public vote for Chief Minister - they are the ones who actually try and do something instead of just moaning.

It should happen but it never ever will.We have no faith in the islands decision makers and they view the electorate as contemptible until they need our votes.I for one am tired of hearing that our government and judiciary are out of touch. I agree that they are - but Walker, Le Sueur, the brothers Ballache and the businessmen that REALLY run the island have no interest in our opinions and were all wasting our time.The old boys club WILL remain intact after the Haut de la Garenne inquiry and Joe Public WILL continue to be dumped on from a great height. This is how Jersey works and it sucks !!!

This is nothing new and has been advocated by many over the past few years. The JDA make it sound like they came up with the idea, which they didn't

kick them all out, and have a democratically elected system of government.bailiff=outchief minister=outlieutenant governor=outbut lets start now!!!

Isn't it a little too late for Jersey to try and promote a democratic image of itself now? The international media has already turned the island community into a pariah and with current news, isn't it a bit late (3 weeks into our scandal) to be trying to straighten out our governing bodies?

David Bisson
In today's society, the fact that our Judiciary and Legislature are governed by one unelected individual is an anachronistic obscenity which should be addressed as a number one priority if the Island is to retain what little credence we have left with the "outside world".

Let's clear the air once and for all. Time to end the 'Bailhache Dynasty'.

"Judge Roy Bean"
If Jersey does need an independent judiciary, then perhaps we will have more VERY highly paid individuals coming to live here and push up the house prices? However, this time they will actually contribute something much more significant to our society than others.It seems like a good idea, so it probably won't happen. Jersey has been the elephants graveyard of good ideas for a long's where they come to die, not flourish!

In my humble opinion, the separation of powers is fundamental in a democratic state. Separation of powers 1. The legislature - the power to decide the laws.2. The executive - the power to execute the laws (i.e. to ensure that the laws are applied.3. The judiciary - the power to decide whether a person accused of breaking the law is innocent or guilty.Study democracy in politics and one of the first things you read is that the judiciary, legislature and the executive are required to be separate. The separation of powers is a fundamental arrangement

King Charles
Law maker and judge is not such a bad cross-over. Judges 'make' law all the time in interpreting legislation. More worrying is the merge between the judiciary, the legislature and the prosecution service (which is a states department). We need an indpendent prosecution service like the CPS in the UK. It also makes me laugh to think you can be indicted by (or on behalf of) one Bailhache (the AG) and sent to prison by the other (the Bailiff)!

Jersey Student
I think that the Bailiff's position in the States is an that of an overseer, somebody appointed by the crown to keep the Status Quo if a vote is tied. To get rid of the Bailiff would be to sever our closest link with the crown and it's involvement in Jersey politics.

Come on Jersey. Its time to bring our laws and legal system into the 21st Century. Where else can the one person who has the final say on the laws actually dish out the punishment for them, other than Mummy and Daddy of course. Lets start with a total overhaul of the parenting laws in Jersey!!

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