Wednesday, January 30, 2013







Yesterday in the States we had another awful session of Questions without answers. But I want to keep concentrating on the Data Protetcion led Super-Injunction against Stuart Syvret. It's getting very difficult to get any information on this - even in written questions to the Attorney General.

This is the latest offering: 

In responding to my question as to how much taxpayers' money had been spent and/or allocated in support of the so-called 'super-injunction’ case being brought by four private individuals under the Data Protection Law, the Assistant Chief Minister stated that he could not answer as the this was sub-judice. Will the Attorney General clarify 
  • 1)  that this does indeed apply to revelation of monies/costs even though they have nothing to do actual facts of the case; 
  • 2)  provide the exact wording of this ruling; 
  • 3)  outline when the Crown/Law Officers were engaged in support of the case? 

  1. It is a matter for the Chief Minister, as for any States Member, as to how he or she answers a question in the Assembly. The term “sub judice” means “under judicial consideration” and embodies a rule that governs what public statements can be made about ongoing legal proceedings and, generally, prevents States Members (and indeed anyone else) from discussing matters awaiting or under adjudication in the courts. The Attorney General is unable to express any view on whether or not the matter is in fact “sub judice”. 
  2. The question does not make it clear what “ruling” it refers to and the Attorney General is therefore unable to answer it, even were it appropriate to do so; 
  3. The Attorney General assumes that the expression “Crown/Law Officers” refers to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General and, in this instance, the Law Officers’ Department. Neither the Law Officers nor anyone else in the Law Officers’ Department have been engaged to provide advice or support in any case which the Attorney General believes may be referred to in the question.

This is getting very interesting. Who is paying for all this Data Protection/ Legal Work? The 4 complainants? Who is paying for Advocate Baker to represent these 4 individuals? It can't be legal aide? Something just doesn't look right here. Nothing shows up on the Data Protection Annual Reports. So, is the a privately led Super-Injunction? 

How did the 4 individuals become a collective? Maybe it was better having a 'Kitty' like a friday night on the Stella in town? Better to share costs.

And who could forget this farce from the 15/01/2013

4.13 Deputy T.M. Pitman of the Chief Minister regarding the cost of supporting four individuals bringing actions under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005, relating to the Internet:
Will the Chief Minister clarify how much taxpayers’ money has thus far been spent in support of the 4 individuals bringing action on to the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005 relating to the internet?
Senator I.J. Gorst (The Chief Minister):
Could I ask my Assistant Minister, Senator Routier, who acts as political liaison with the Data Protection Commissioner, to answer this?
Senator P.F. Routier (Assistant Chief Minister - rapporteur):
As has already been confirmed in previous answers, there are proceedings that are ongoing.  Therefore not only would further discussion be sub judice, there is an order in place that all hearings in relation to this matter are held in private until a further order of the court and that no party may disclose information to any one party.  At this point in time, while matters are ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment on any fees incurred.
4.13.1 Deputy T.M. Pitman:
The Attorney General in the past said there was a limited amount of taxpayers’ money that would be available in such cases.  Can the Assistant Minister at least confirm to the House a figure that is the ultimate that can be used from the taxpayers’ purse and who is monitoring this because I think that is very important to the public?
Senator P.F. Routier:
Every year in the accounts of the Data Protection Office, there is an amount set aside for the running of their department.  They keep within that budget and that is publicly known.  I do not have the figure with me here today but it is a figure which has been advised to this House in the past.
4.13.2 Deputy T.M. Pitman:
Sorry to push that but from what the Assistant Minister is saying, he is suggesting that it is entirely down to the Data Protection Commissioner’s discretion.  Do I understand that correctly?
Senator P.F  Routier:
The Data Protection Commissioner is an independent person who has responsibility for the budget and as long as they keep within the budget, we should be satisfied.
4.13.3 Deputy G.P. Southern:
The Assistant Minister has just said that we should be satisfied.  If he expands that to “we” in this Chamber concerning public spending, can he justify in some way his linking of the sum spent on this case with an injunction that says we cannot talk about the proceedings?  Surely there is no link between the amount spent and the actual proceedings going on.  How can he justify not informing Members how much public money has been spent on this particular case to date?
Senator P.F. Routier:
In the opening answer, I did say that the court has put an order in place to not talk about any matters in relation to these cases so we are bound by that.
4.13.4 Deputy G.P. Southern:
Is the phrase used in the document in front of him “matters relating to these cases” in which case possibly one might justify not talking about how much has been spent.  Is that the actual wording and, if not, will he tell us what the wording is because I cannot believe it encompasses the amount spent by the States on pursuing these cases?
Senator P.F. Routier:
I do not have the court order in front of me.  I can certainly look at that to see what the court has decided but my understanding is that the whole relates to everything relating to the case.
4.13.5 Deputy M.R. Higgins:
Can the Assistant Minister tell us whether the person who is on the receiving end of the Data Protection’s action receiving equality of arms?  Are they also being funded by the States or is it just the 4 individuals who are bringing the action?
Senator P.F. Routier:
I have no knowledge of the cases at all so I cannot answer that.
4.13.6 Deputy M.R. Higgins:
Do you believe the person should receive equality of arms?
Senator P.F. Routier:
I have no knowledge of the cases at all so I cannot comment on that at all.
4.13.7 Deputy M. Tadier:
It seems that the Assistant Minister has been chosen to answer the question specifically because he does not have any knowledge about any answers that he can give which is convenient because we are not allowed any information on the question which has been approved by yourself, Sir, but I am sure it is more complicated than that.  The question I have to ask is: is the Assistant Minister concerned that taxpayers’ money is being used for a case which ostensibly could or which could possibly use the defamation law because this is a case about defamation, not necessarily about data protection, which would not have to be funded by the taxpayer.  Does the Assistant Minister have any concerns that taxpayers are being used to fund a secret case which we cannot even find out what the costs are at the moment when perhaps the best use of procedure would be for a civil defamation case to be brought against this individual so that taxpayers would not have to fund it.
Senator P.F. Routier:
The Deputy’s understanding of what cases are going on is greater than mine.  It is not part of the responsibility of the Chief Minister or myself to be involved in any particular cases and I would respectfully suggest to Members that when there are cases which are sub judice, that politicians should not really think about being involved in it and I maintain that position and as long as the Data Protection Officers are working appropriately within the law, that we should be satisfied with that.
4.13.8 Deputy G.P. Southern:
If I may, can I ask the Assistant Minister to circulate the documents he has not brought with him today, the 2 items that he has mentioned in his answer?
Senator P.F. Routier:
I am not sure what the Deputy is referring to.  All I have is an answer to the question that …
Deputy G.P. Southern:
I refer to the wording of the injunction from the court and the sum allocated to data protection issues within the budget, both of which he mentioned and said: “I do not have them with me.”  Can he circulate them before day’s end?
Senator P.F. Routier:
The Data Protection Office budget is publicly known.  It is available to anybody.  Regarding the court’s order, I presume that would be on the court’s website if there is such a thing.  I cannot find it.
4.13.9 Deputy G.P. Southern:
Effectively, he has not answered the question and said he is not prepared to do anything to elicit the answers.  Can the Assistant Minister be more co-operative?
Senator P.F. Routier:
Certainly, I will have a look to see what can be provided but as I have said previously, these cases are sub judice but I will do whatever I can.
4.13.10 Deputy M. Tadier:
May I have a supplementary simply to be helpful?  I appreciate that this is a sub judice case so would the Assistant Minister make an undertaking to look into a policy area which relates to the use of defamation cases as opposed to the use of data protection law because they are fundamental issues which border on the right of freedom of speech versus the right to not be defamed and it is critical that there is not an abuse, first of all, of taxpayers’ money being spent or an abuse, potentially, of the wrong law being used when another law should be used.  Would the Assistant Minister undertake to take that away and discuss that?
Senator P.F. Routier:
In preparing to answer this question, I looked at Hansard when the Chief Minister answered a very similar line of question previously and it was suggested to Members that if they have a concern with the Data Protection Law, that they should consider bringing forward an amendment to that law.  I certainly do not have any concerns about the way it is currently being used but if other Members do, I would suggest that they bring an amendment to the Data Protection Law.
4.13.11 Deputy T.M. Pitman:
I am tempted to ask if you can apply retrospectively to use this law but what I will ask the Assistant Minister is: is he really happy and content that here we apparently have taxpayers’ money being used and yet no one in this Assembly is allowed to know how much is being spent, what that limit is effectively or who is monitoring it.  Is that a good way to handle taxpayers’ money?
Senator P.F. Routier:
We have put in place a system to provide protection to the public through the Data Protection Office and when it was established, it was established in a way that gave the authority and the backing to the Data Protection Officer to use the funds available to them wisely and I have no reason to believe that it is not happening in any of these cases and I maintain that we have sufficient protection for public funds because the Data Protection Officer is using the money within their existing budget.

A Super-Injunction has been enforced against former Health Minister/Senator, Stuart Syvret. It has been led by the Jersey Data Protection Office under Data Protection Commissioner Emma Martins. We first became aware of this Super-Injunction when UK Politician & Liberal Democrat John Hemming mentioned it under Parliamentary Privilege in the House of Commons. This is what he said:

"There is a country where there are allegations that crimes by powerful people are not being investigated and prosecuted. A journalist has been refused entry to stop reporting about an issue. The chief of police has been suspended to stop him investigating crimes. Bloggers are being threatened to stop them talking about people. Decisions by the state not to prosecute cannot be challenged, nor is private prosecution allowed. The country is Jersey. The journalist is Leah McGrath Goodman, who is an American. The chief of police was Graham Power. Furthermore, Andrew Marolia, David Minty, David Wherry and Jonathan Sharrock Haworth have, with the assistance of the Jersey Government, obtained a super-injunction against ex-Senator Stuart Syvret—under the Data Protection Act of all things—to prevent from him saying things about them on his blog that are true. Mr Syvret has evidence that criminal offences are being swept under the carpet, but nothing is being done.

Something very fishy is going on here.

More questions need to be asked

Rico Sorda

Investigative Journalist (Part Time)


Anonymous said...

Neither the Law Officers nor anyone else in the Law Officers’ Department have been engaged to provide advice or support in any case which the Attorney General believes may be referred to in the question.

Is the Attorney General playing with words.

Would he need it spelling out to him the case referred to is the
funded by taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

2.The question does not make it clear what “ruling” it refers to and the Attorney General is therefore unable to answer it, even were it appropriate to do so;


Keep asking the questions

Anonymous said...

To understand how state sponsored institutional child abuse and decades of concealment are possible, this blog provides real insight.

Essentially, the Data Protection Commissioner, by herself, is trusted to authorize unmentionable and/or unknown sums for tax payer funded ( but top secret ) private prosecutions on behalf of criminals with vendettas against the prosecuted blog journalist. No checks and balances are in place governing this bizarre and backwards court action because those who don't know the answers are the only ones who can be asked the questions. Is that right?


Anonymous said...

One could be forgiven for thinking that this whole story would have come out of a script from the series 'Bergerac'.

What is that I hear people muttering? Our Data Protection Officer is in fact Bergerac star's, John Nettles. daughter?

No lack of imagination there then. Have tax-payers money, will travel.

If SUPERINJUNCTIONS are available in 'little' Jersey I am a monkey's uncle. (sadly it appears they are and I am bounching around the room at this very moment knuckles to the ground on all fours, grunting OOOOOH OOOOOH OOOOOH.)

The 'Bretheren' would say 'So Mote It Be'.

I say keep asking awkward questions.



Zoompad said...

The fact that this is being funded by taxpayers actually voids any superinjunction these four men are being protected by, look at it legalistically. If a person pays money for something by law they have to be able to examine what they are paying for to make sure they are not being cheated. That is the law of Jersey and the UK, in laymans terms, it is your right to examine goods you have paid money for.

So if even one penny of taxpayers money has been paid to fund this gagging order to protect these four men, the public have a right to see exactly how the money has been spent, and what for.

I think this time the paedophile protection squad have dug themselves a hole so massive they will not be able to crawl out, no matter how hard they squirm!

Anonymous said...

Zoomy, is this money actually coming from the tax payer or from some other non accountable source ... such as a Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund or the other pie, the Consolidated Fund?

This could be an angle to see where money is going:From here

"The fund (C.O.C.F.) is manager-controlled by the Minister for Treasury and Resources and is a special fund under the purposes of the Public Finances Law. Monies paid into the fund do not form part of the income of the States. The law requires the Minister to consult with the Attorney General and other persons or bodies as appropriate before applying monies in order to ensure that the funds are drawn down in accordance with the law, and a steering group has been set up to govern the use of the C.O.C.F."

A question to ask in the house could be made to the Minister for Treasury and Resources ..

The Beano is not the Rag

Anonymous said...

Ok then. If The Treasury Minister Senator Ozouf, is accountable for the COCF, then surely he is also accountable for giving tax payers money over a Super-Injunction!?

Anonymous said...

Part of an answer to a Googled question What is a Super-Injunction?

Many legal experts have said the widespread online speculation concerning the content of super injunctions has rendered them pointless – but others also warn that people publishing details online could face legal action.

Users reporting details of injunctions could be found guilty of contempt of court and sued for invasion of privacy, while those reporting false accusations could be sued for libel.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: ‘People spending £50,000 to £150,000 covering up their misdeeds are not going to want to have themselves outed by some tweeter.’

Anonymous said...

Lead story again at Jersey Today


Anonymous said...

Best statement about Super Injunctions, ever. "People spending £50,000 to £150,000 covering up their misdeeds are not going to want to have themselves outed by some tweeter."

That one bears repeating!

Anonymous said...


Didn't the Data Commissioner tell a UK group that she had to call her father for advice during that difficult time when she was developing her strategy against Syvret?

Anonymous said...


This is off topic but nevertheless very important. It is a follow up to the alleged leaking of information by former Lancashire police officer Mick Gradwell to David Rose of the Daily Mail.

Today it has been revealed in the UK press that:

"...a diplomatic protection officer has been arrested on suspicion of leaking information to the media by detectives investigating the Andrew Mitchell "pleb" row....He remains in custody and faces questioning on suspicion of misconduct in public office in connection with the unauthorised disclosure of information to the media."

This is very different to the recent trial and conviction of the police officer April Casburn. In her case, it was claimed that she leaked information for monetary gain, although no money was ever paid. In today's arrest in the Plebgate case, there is no suggestion whatsoever that any leaking took place for monetary gain. From the media reports, it would appear that the officer is under arrest and that a criminal investigation is underway simply because the officer leaked information.

Readers will recall that Jersey's Home Affairs Minister, Ian Le Marquand, has gone on record as saying that an investigation by Jersey's Home Affairs department (not necessarily the States of Jersey Police, I might add) pointed to Mr Mick Gradwell as having leaked information about Operation Rectangle. If I recall correctly, Ian Le Marquand's view was that Mr Gradwell was a now retired officer of the Lancashire Constabulary (his official employer when he was in Jersey) whose secondment with the States of Jersey had by then ended and that there was nothing that he (Le Marquand) could do about the situation. But that is not strictly true, is it?

What needs to happen now? I would say that somebody in Jersey needs to make a formal criminal complaint to Lancashire Police, asking them to investigate the alleged leaking of information by one of their officers to the media. It is EXACTLY the same circumstances as this Plebgate leak. There is no suggestion that any money was involved. If he had any credibility left, Ian Le Marquand would actually be the complainant to Lancashire police. If an investigation did go ahead, I would imagine at the very least that Ian Le Marquand would have to give a statement about what he knows.

To avoid the jurisdictional games that those in Jersey like to play, I would emphasize that the leaking, if it did take place as described by Ian Le Marquand, was between a serving Lancashire officer and a UK newspaper. There is absolutely nothing to stop any Jersey resident making a complaint to Lancashire police.

Who is going to be first to ask Lancashire Police to investigate? Will it be Ian Le Marquand? Or will it be a Jersey blogger, or perhaps a non-oligarchy Jersey politician keen to see the rule of law upheld?

We live in interesting times.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if ILM were told that he could sue and receive monies in return by way of compensation he may become interested ...

The Beano is not the Rag

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:30

What a fab idea.

Anonymous said... A senior officer jailed for 15 months.

Ian Evans said...

Update on the Troll, another illegal police raid, two more sexual assaults (perhaps on minors), and a month of CORRUPTION REVIEWS

Anonymous said...

From the Judgement:

7. I should point out at this stage that not all advocacy in this case has been as good.The officers can, quite rightly, feel aggrieved that Advocate Gollop did not recognize an immediate conflict of interest. I also deprecate the manner in which Advocate Whittacker left the officers unrepresented. I remain perplexed where the money set aside for the potential expert McKay has gone. I also stated when I gave my verbal decision on Thursday 10 January 2013 that I did not expect to see my comments in the media and whilst I was not gagging others, I did make it clear that I did not authorise the use of my comments other than for this hearing and I do not authorise the publication of this written judgment other than for the purposes of this hearing.

Between the lines Paragraph 7.

Senior figures in the Jersey Legal Establishment are not used to criticism and so Advocate Julian Gollop may not enjoy reading the observation that he, who we understand was the Advocate initially appointed for the officer’s defence by the Police Association Insurers, was slow to identify a conflict of interest. We have enquired as to the nature of the alleged conflict and understand that it related to Advocate Gollop’s role as prosecutor on behalf of the Attorney General in relation to the original Warren case. Observers of the Jersey legal scene will be aware that Advocate Gollop is a frequent recipient of briefs of this nature on behalf of the Crown. There is nothing wrong with that in itself, but it created a conflict of interest which the Tribunal felt Advocate Gollop was slow to identify. It was Advocate Gollop who, during the Warren trial, promoted the line on behalf of the Crown that the complications regarding the bugging of the car in France arose because the police had acted illegally.

Should feel right at home now. Couldn't see a conflict of interest if it was staring him in the face.