Author Topic: Setting a precedent?  (Read 2851 times)

Offline tonytheprof

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Setting a precedent?
« on: November 11, 2010, 07:32:48 PM »
CTV reported:

"The role of Sark's Seneschal has been split. Politicians met on Wednesday night to officially separate the Seneschal's dual role as Chairman of the island's government Chief Pleas, and the judge of Sark's court. It makes the current Seneschal Colonel Reg Guille the last to serve the post in its historic role, which has remained largely unchanged for more than 400 years. From now on though, he will serve only as a judge and a new President of Chief Pleas will have to be appointed."

Will this have any "domino effect" implications when the role of Jersey's Bailiff is considered?

In theory, insofar as the main argument was for a potential conflict of interest - not proven, simply possible - the same arguments that led to the split of roles should mean the committee looking into the Bailiff's role in the States should at least consider these events. If they decide they Bailiff's role is not potentially conflicted in any way, they need to address the position as argued in Sark, and provide arguments for saying why it does not apply in Jersey.

I don't actually have any problem with the Bailiff presiding in the States and the Courts - or even being stuffy about whether members should wear a jacket (which is - like a stuffy old uncle -adopting UK customs rather than letting the States decide for themselves), even when the air conditioning had problems and it seemed like a good idea for commonsense rather than "Carry on Up the Kyber" officer style imperialism.

My concern is where he blocks propositions (as he did, for example, with one of Shona Pitman's) rather than letting the States decide upon its merits. That "filtering" aspect - which occurs outside the Chamber - is far more disquieting than just acting as a Chairman - where no one (except possibly Phil Rondel) could accuse him of ignoring members who want to speak.

Offline Dylan

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 07:58:10 PM »
Bollocks!
The sentiment is there but I can assure you it will never happen!
!dereggub si draobyek ym kniht I

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 10:38:04 PM »
So you do not think that being dressed correctly in court etc etc does not matter. Also the Bailiff can sit in the State's Chamber and conduct proceeding as he see fit and also be Jersey's Chief Judge. I think you will find a lot of people would not agree with you on that.

Offline Dundee

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 12:09:16 AM »
So you do not think that being dressed correctly in court etc etc does not matter. Also the Bailiff can sit in the State's Chamber and conduct proceeding as he see fit and also be Jersey's Chief Judge. I think you will find a lot of people would not agree with you on that.

And what is your preferred option? 

Offline tonytheprof

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 04:04:55 AM »
The conduct of proceedings follows fixed protocols, and the Bailiff need not be the one presiding - the Greffier has, and on occasions, a Senator has (one time Jeune, I believe). It is basically following the rules for a speaker, and the Bailiff is not at liberty to do as he wishes.

With regard to jackets, I was talking about specific circumstances in the States Chamber where the Bailiff refused that men (women are exempt from this rule) to take off their jackets when it was summer and air conditioning was malfunctioning. Even in the Royal Court, I would have thought that not wearing a jacket rather than fainting etc was a sensible option; just because you are not wearing a jacket, it doesn't mean you aren't smartly dressed, which is why I said it was the kind of stuffy good days of the Raj kind of rigid thinking - smartly dressed in an Indian summer!

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 05:34:19 AM »
My preferred dress is bra & knickers on any woman in the court it beats looking at a man half dressed as a woman.

Offline tonytheprof

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2010, 02:26:32 PM »
Can men attend the Court or States Chamber wearing a kilt then?

I'd be careful, those men "half dressed as a woman" from the Highlands still have a lot of Pictish anger in them, and no wonder given the climate up there. Cold enough to chill the vitals, as Terry Wogan would have said.


Offline Dundee

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010, 12:33:30 AM »
Not being a fashion fluzzy like some on here, I was referring to the roles of head of the States and the Court. The current holder is qualified to do both, so the proposal is to create another 200K post then or what?

Offline tonytheprof

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2010, 02:07:41 AM »
I have no objection to him chairing the States, when he turns down propositions and disallows them before they are even lodged and get to the States, I have many objections. No one non-elected should have that power.

In case you are wondering, he turned down a proposition of Shona Pitman's for an islandwide referendum on who was to be Chief Minister, which as Jim Perchard demonstrated with his hour change, could easily be held at the same time as the main elections - especially now they are single day.

I'm not saying that would work, or even be voted, but the discussion (and the proposition) was ruled out by the then Bailliff, Philip Bailhache. That's too much control over the business of the States.

Offline Dundee

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2010, 03:06:21 PM »
What were the grounds of refusal?

Going by the current crop of our elected representatives only one is qualified and that is Senator Le Marquand, not my choice but the public.

Offline tonytheprof

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2010, 05:22:17 PM »
The grounds of refusal would be that the Island could in a referendum choose someone whom a majority of the States members could not work with, and that was therefore a perverse proposition which was not acceptable.

Remember that SS was in the States back then, and had topped the poll at the last Senatorial when he stood! Not that had anything to do with what was purely an impartial argument!!!

I think the argument should have been for the States to decide (and for the electorate to see how they voted on the matter), and not for the Bailiff to so "no". He is not elected and that was usurping the right of the States to decide democratically - as I say, even if not used overmuch, that - and not just presiding in the Chamber, which I have no problem with - is too much power.

Offline Dundee

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Re: Setting a precedent?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2010, 06:38:41 PM »
I remember the question at a husting "who would you like to see as chief minister" it was surprising how many ducked the question. Senator Le Sueur stated Frank Walker, who I see he is now on a public advisory board.