Monday, January 7, 2013













The office of Jurat was created in the early years of the 13th century in a document known as the “Constitutions of King John” issued in 1204 and in which King John ordered that the Island should elect duodecim optimatos juratos - their 12 best sworn men to keep the pleas.
In the 13th Century, the Jurats’ role was both judicial and legislative; and the Jurats retained their legislative functions until reforms in 1948 reconstituted the States (the Legislative Assembly) without them.

Present day
Jurats are elected to serve in the Royal Court and to decide questions of fact in court cases. They sit next to the judge and not only decide the facts in both civil and criminal trials; they also award damages and fines as well as determine sentences.

Appointment of Jurats
The work of the Jurats is unpaid and they are appointed by the Electoral College, consisting of the Bailiff, Jurats, the Connétables of the 12 parishes of Jersey, the elected States members, members of the Jersey Bar and Solicitors of the Royal Court.

Election for Jurats
When there is a vacancy, a copy of a letter from the Bailiff announcing this is delivered to each member of the Electoral College. If there are as many candidates, as there are vacancies – all the nominees become Jurats. If there are more people wanting to be Jurats than there are vacancies, a ballot takes place at a specially convened meeting of the Electoral College held in the Royal Court. If the first ballot results in an equal ballot of votes for each candidate the Bailiff calls for another vote. If the result of the second ballot is inconclusive, only then is the Bailiff permitted to vote and declare the final result of the ballot.

Any person who contests the validity of the appointment of a Jurat by the Electoral College may present a Remonstrance (Representation) to the Superior Number of the Royal Court.
Every Jurat appointed by the Electoral College is required to take an oath of office before the Superior Number of the Royal Court. The oath is most likely to have been in existence since 1204.

Jurats and the Royal Court

Cases heard before Jurats in the Inferior Number of the Royal Court
The Bailiff and two Jurats constitute the Inferior Number of the Royal Court. The Inferior Number tries all contested civil matters (other than within the Petty Debts Court). Customary law offences such as murder, manslaughter, rape, grave and criminal / indecent / common assault, fraud, and theft are tried before a jury at a Criminal Assize (Crown Court).
The Inferior Number tries the more serious contraventions (e.g. breaches of a Law passed by the States), which are beyond the jurisdiction of the Magistrate. The criminal cases most commonly tried by the Inferior Number are contraventions of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978 and Customs and Excise (Jersey) Law 1999 which can attract prison sentences of up to 14 years.
The Inferior Number may impose a custodial sentence of up to four years. However the Inferior Number tries all such cases even though the sanction that might be imposed in the event that the accused is found guilty might exceed the limit of its sentencing jurisdiction.

The Superior Number of the Royal Court
The Superior Number of the Royal Court consists of the Bailiff and at least five Jurats The Superior Number primarily sits as a sentencing Court in criminal cases where a custodial sentence is likely to exceed four years. The Superior Number also possesses a residual appellate jurisdiction to hear an appeal against sentence only imposed by the Inferior Number. The Superior Number does not sit to try civil or criminal cases at first instance.

Judicial functions of the Jurats and the Bailiff
The respective functions of the Bailiff and the Jurats are set out in Article 16 of the Royal Court (Jersey) Law 1948. The Bailiff is the sole judge of law and procedure and has the power to award costs.
The Jurats decide the facts, award damages and determine the sentence or fine or the sanction in criminal cases. In all causes and matters, civil, criminal or mixed, the Bailiff has a casting vote:
(a) if two Jurats are divided as to the facts or the damages to be awarded or the sentence, fine or other sanction to be imposed; or
(b) if more than two Jurats are divided as regards any one or more of the matters specified above that a casting vote is necessary for the finding of a majority opinion

Other roles undertaken by Jurats
Jurats act as Returning Officers for all public elections i.e. where candidates stand to be elected members of the States of Jersey (Legislative Assembly) as Senator (12) , Connétable (12) and Deputy (29), as well as for Procureur du Bien Public and Centeniers. There are two Procureurs for each of the 12 Parishes in the Island and they have oversight of the finances of the Parish.
Jurats also sit as members of the Licensing Assembly (granting liquor licences), Gambling Licensing Authority, Probation Committee, Prison Board of Visitors, the appeal panels from disciplinary decisions of the Attorney General in relation to Honorary Police and from disciplinary decisions of the Chief Officer of Police in relation to officers of the States of Jersey Police.

This is just the first of many posting where I will be looking at the real power in Jersey. That is the Jersey Judiciary. The Judiciary has been led by the Bailhache brothers, Philip and William for a very long time. We will also be having another look at the farcical Judicial Review of former Chief of Police Graham Power QPM. There were more conflicts of interest in that one review than one would ever believe possible. I hear that the North Koreans fully endorsed it. 

We will be looking at the role by the Jersey Judiciary in the Jersey Child Abuse Cover-up.




Anonymous said...

Dear Rico, this story I have wanted answers too and never get anywhere. I believe Sir Philip Bailhache told a lawyer when he brought up this issue 'why Jurat's were not from all backgrounds and colours' he was told not to go down that route! when people ask about the role of Jurat's we are told 'it's the way it is', these people are extremely powerful and run the way our legal system works and yet, we do not know how they work. I would like a politician to ask the question to the Chief Minister why Jurat's are not from all walks of life! only the chosen few.... this would be a good step 1. Great work Rico. Also did you know Jurat's visit the Jersey prison to ask the very people they put in there 'how they are?' this surely can't be right!!! let's get a debate out there re: jurat's the only place in the world where this system happens!

Anonymous said...

You wrote near the beginning of this thread "going for the snake's head" in relation to the jurats or justice system. That's exactly where its at the corruption on this island ALL stems from the justice system. Spend a little less time on the politicians who come and go and more time on the justice system who are always there and keep out of the limelight.

Anonymous said...

Jersey's Justice system is rotten to the core so look forward to your up coming posts.

Anonymous said...

Jurats do indeed already come from all walks of life, there have been Jurats with backgounds in insurance, dentistry, voluntary work, children's issues etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Well what about a good postman, shopkeeper? people who have an understanding of real people? the role should be paid as this leaves room only for the 'ones who can fulfil the role if they have' the have's versa the 'have nots'. how can a system that expects people to do the job for nothing be anyone other than a 'certain type of person'. As far as I am concerned the Jurat system is certainly not used anywhere else other than here! I look forward to hearing from anyone that can move this debate to the forefront... it's time for Jersey to move into the 'real world' and that includes the Jurat's... they are also too close to the establishment for it to be fair. And they should not be Jurat's for their whole lifetime, say a 2 year span.... then new ones.... add new blood in...

Anonymous said...

Guernsey jurats could serve in Jersey:

Senator Bailhache said it would be a rare circumstance, but one they should be prepared for

How to become a Jurat in Jersey

Jurats from Guernsey could be allowed to rule on court cases in Jersey in the future if the States agrees.

It was suggested by a court services review and will be voted on next month.

Jersey has 12 jurats who serve in the place of a jury in both civil and criminal trials and determine damages and fines as well as sentences.

Assistant Chief Minister Sir Philip Bailhache said it would be used in cases when it would be inappropriate for the serving Jersey jurats to rule.

The former bailiff said: "In a small community like ours people are increasingly conscious of the risks of conflicts of interest.

"Although the situation may arise very rarely, in my time in the Royal Court I have never known an occasion when it was necessary, it could happen that it would be difficult for a Jersey jurat to sit in judgement in a particular case.

"We're thinking of a situation where a jurat might want to bring an action of law himself and it would obviously be difficult for his colleagues to sit in judgement."

Currently jurats, who are forced to retire at the age of 72, can be called back to rule on a case as long as they are not aged more than 75.

Senator Bailhache said it strengthened the system for the bailiff to be able to ask his Guernsey counterpart for assistance and appointments would only be made after discussions with the bailiff of Guernsey.

Judges already work on cases across the islands.

The proposals are due to be debated by the States on 20 November.

Anonymous said...

Senator Bailhache:

November 20th 2012 on the above debate.

" Deputy Pitman said that he would be bringing a proposition to look at the appointment of Jurats or the constitution of the Royal Court. I think I can only say that we must await that proposition and then deal with those points as they arise. I do not accept that the Jurats are not representative of the broader society. They contain and have contained teachers, accountants, lawyers, insurance agents, former policemen, former civil servants, a whole range of people who have given service to the broader community and who have been found suitable to exercise the discretion and judgment which is required of a Jurat of the Royal Court. I remind Members that it is open to any Member of this Assembly and indeed any member of the electoral college to propose a person who meets the qualifications in terms of age and so on and there is no question to my mind that this is some sort of a closed shop which is open only to a particular socioeconomic group"

lol, that really is a cross group but does it stack up?

voiceforchildren said...


Philip Bailhache says.

"In a small community like ours people are increasingly conscious of the risks of conflicts of interest.

"Although the situation may arise very rarely, in my time in the Royal Court I have never known an occasion when it was necessary, it could happen that it would be difficult for a Jersey jurat to sit in judgement in a particular case.

Is he saying that all the time he was in the Royal Court, NOT ONCE, was there ANY kind of conflict of interest involving a Jurat? Is this bloke for real? Or is it that nobody has taken notice in the past but now are starting to question the whole apparatus of what passes for "justice" in Jersey?

Anonymous said...

Dear Rico, can you see that the last two messages only mention Philip Bailhache? why? this is exactly the problem, him and his brother control this Island and it is not up to Philip Bailhache to be involved on his own but as a politician as he is presently serving as an 'assistant'. I rest my case, we need a proper open debate by all, not just Sir Philip.... I am looking forward to receiving responses from others and less of what Philip Bailhache has to say, 'the dictator' as far as I am concerned.

Anonymous said...

Who does Philip Bailhache think he is! God! he talks patronisingly to his team members in the States, he pushes his weight around too much and his role is as 'assistant' not Chief Minister, would someone please let him know, he is on the same par as Routier. Don't forget it, Sir Philip...until you get in as Chief Minister your title is 'assistant'...

Anonymous said...

Dear Rico, it may be worth looking at the Jurat's and if we have a range of those people from different ethnic backgrounds, Polish, Portuguese.... I fear the answer will be no. However, if I am wrong then I will say so. If the answer is 'no' then how can we expect a fair legal system....I rest my case....

Anonymous said...

The teacher, would that be Mr Herbert the ex head teacher, I do not recall any rank and file teachers ever being Jurats, old boys and gals club.

Anonymous said...

Yet another delay for TOR for COI into historic(?) child abuse.

When will Gorst accept that this inquiry will go ahead and with out conditions.

Anonymous said...

I knew an elderly lady who has now sadly died,she had granted power of atorney to a male relative,but then some years later decided to change him for another,living on her own her husband had died,she went to seek the advice of a jurat and guidence in respect of the paperwork to make the change,she was asked to leave the original with him and that he would contact her in a couple of days,in a couple of days it wasnt he who knocked at the door, but the relative who had power of atorney,he gave her a right mouthfull saying things like she was going behind his back, and when she asked him to leave he stayed on for over half an hour having a go at her,it turned out that the guy was an x politition and good friend of this jurat and the jurat had let him know what the old lady was proposing. in the end she sought guidance from a deputy and he was most helpfull and her wish was carried much for the reputation of some jurats.

rico sorda said...

Team Voice have known about the delay regarding the Committee of Enquiry it is now down for the 29th January. This is because there has been some hard work going behind the scenes regarding the TOR's and whats missing. Should have some news soon.

More on Club Jurat coming soon


Anonymous said...

Jurat's have been going to the prison to see the very people they put in there, how patronising is that! Jurat's are not selected 'fairly' they are the movers and shakers in the Jersey Establishment, unpaid means there cannot be a broad selection of the community as a whole. it's time for Jersey to look at this and allow change for the future and now! for too long the elite have run this opinion is Jersey's full legal system needs a complete over haul, away from Sir Philip, away from the chosen few.... we may not want to say it, but it's true.

Anonymous said...

Teachers perks ?

Yes, the right sort of teachers can be Jurats.

Mr. Le Breton was Deputy head at Victoria College and was one of the movers in the partially successful cover up of the long term sexual abuse of school boys there.

extract from the Sharp Report Page 23, Paragraph B35 :
‘On 5 August, Mr. Le Breton wrote to Advocate Falle. He said that the police did not as yet seem inclined to press charges and that there may indeed be no case to answer. He went on to say that Mr. Jarvis-Dykes had served the College in an outstandingly competent and conscientious way. He accepted that there was now evidence of misconduct on off island trips and that in his view this was now a resignation matter. He asked that Mr. Jervis-Dykes be allowed to leave with some dignity and suggested that the Governors consider a resignation from Christmas or Easter. He did not believe that his (Jervis-Dykes) continued presence teaching Maths and as Head of Maths would place anyone at risk. “In the absence of a police case, the resignation would be seen as an inevitable consequence of an intolerable situation caused by an unsubstantiated allegation.” (Mr. Le Breton had not taken up the Headmaster’s suggestion in June that he might view the videos* and he was not aware that Mr. Baker had seen them) CLANG !!!!!

[The "unsubstantiated" allegations were errrrr....... substantiated by the videos* and Jarvis-Dykes is a convicted paedophile, in spite of Le Breton's best efforts]

The sharp report is available at :

Does Mr. Bailhache think Mr. Le Breton a suitable person to have become a Jurat ?
Did this become a conflict of interest when Jurat Le Breton was chosen to sit on the (rejected) judicial review of anti-corruption Police Chief G.Power's (illegal) suspension ?

Mr. Bailhache still states that there was no cover up of the sex abuse at Victoria College (but he is not exactly non-conflicted on the matter as he was V.C's chairman of Governors at the time!)

Even Sir Philip's lap-dog Le Marquand admits that the sex abuse at Victoria College was covered up. I think it is still on one of the audio recordings here:

Anonymous said...

I have read the Sharp Report, I am absolutely sickened to think that under Philip Bailhache's watch what happened at Victoria College happened. I would not allow him to look after my dog never mind a school full of children. And this man wants to be Chief Minister! the Sharp Report must be made public for those to read and to make their own judgement. How this man has been in power for so long, is now blatantly obvious. Jersey needs a serious over hauling of it's legal system and now!

Anonymous said...

The Jurat system needs looking at asap. I notice Ex Bailiff, Ex Judge, Senator Assistant Chief Minister Sir Philip Bailhache (have I forgotten any thing else!) was not very forthcoming when Deputy Pitman brought up the very topic, I wonder why!!! so let's get an open debate on this subject and lets get all these undercover questions out in the open. We have a Jurat system that has allowed a Jurat to act in one of the most integral parts of the Jersey legal system who is not fit for purpose!. Our Policing system has been changed, now it's our legal system's turn, this should tell us something. I think we already know this, if we are really honest with ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Heard Mr. Bailhache on channel TV claiming the people are conscious of Status?

The people?

Ian Evans said...

Bridget Shaw gets to taste some of her OWN MEDICINE Part 2

Anonymous said...

"Heard Mr. Bailhache on channel TV claiming the people are conscious of Status? "

Yes I believe he wants to swan around the world (or London) as the new Channel Island "Minister for Foreign Affairs".

Being Sir Bailhache is not good enough, as he does not like being called an assistant.

To be honest I am not sure why there was a need for an assistant, did the members vote for this new position?

Please do something about the Chief Minister's lacky, he would be more of a liability, trying to act as the "big chief" and probably screw up any decent relationship with big talk for a small minded personal agenda.

Ian Evans said...

A police force absolutely riddled with CORRUPTION

Anonymous said...

3 police officers in Jersey were pardoned re: the Curtis Warren Case. Then who is responsible, someone is, the Legal Officers? I look forward to a healthy debate, I must say I felt that CTV gave a very honest interview on the subject last night and I applaud them. Why was the case done in a hotel? why was it a closed shop? is this not a case that the public have a right to be told about when millions of tax payers have been funding it? lots of questions, I look forward to some answers, don't you? perhaps CTV will open the debate, the question is who was responsible for the bugging of the Curtis Warren car to take place if the Police were authorised then by whom, I can't imagine it was a ghost, someone did, who or whom was it..... this answer may help us answer the on-going problems we already have with our so called 'legal system'.

Anonymous said...

I presume the tax payer also was left paying the champagne bill for the 3 police officers today at the Pomme Dor, not something to be proud about, they are still not left off of the hook as far as I am concerned until we find out who was resposonsible......

Anonymous said...

I noticed on the CTV page that there is no where to leave comments on the article today re: 3 policemen not being charged re: Curtis Warren, why is this so hard to get information to the Media on an issue that is so important? it was a case so important, held in a hotel, not for public to know about and we still are not clearer years in and millions of tax payers pounds spent as to who was the person responsible for the bugging of the drug baron's car? why all this secrecy?, am I but a few people asking this question or are there others? why the secrecy, on one question, who was the person who authorised the 3 policemen...... who? or who? was it?

voiceforchildren said...



Ian Evans said...

PRIDE-less & Prejudice PART 3

voiceforchildren said...



thejerseyway said...

Hi Rico.

Just put up the Audio from this mornings States meeting, you know Questions without Answers.

Question 13 was quite interesting if you know what I mean, some people who should of Known said they didn't put said I think a little more then they wanted, If you Know what I'm talking about of course.

Have a Listen HERE


Ian Evans said...

Questions without answers turns into complaint against MIKE BOWRON

Ian Evans said...


Ian Evans said...

An APPEAL for victims to come forward.

Ian Evans said...

Scum Bag Ian Gorst gags victims after PROMISING that victims would NOT BE GAGGED!!!.

Zoompad said...

It's exactly what they did to the Irish catholic priest child abuse victims, threatened them with £20,000 and/or 2 years jail if they spoke about the abuse.

The big law firms make huge amounts of cash, it dwarfs the compensation victims get for having their lives wrecked.

I would find it an absolute insult to be treated like that. I would never "get over it" to have to submit to such shabby abusive treatment. I wish more of the victims would tell the human scum cover uppers what to do with their guilt money.

voiceforchildren said...


Operation "Invicta", A conspiracy Theory and A PROMISE