Thursday, September 12, 2013

STUART SYVRET - DATA PROTECTION AND THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL

RICO SORDA -PART TIME INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST

DEPUTY BALIFF WILLIAM BAILHACHE. DID HE SANCTION THE ACTION AGAINST STUART SYVRET WHEN HE WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL?

CURRENT ATTORNEY GENERAL - TIME LE COCQ




"STUART SYVRET V DATA PROTECTION"



"BEFORE  SIR CHARLES GRAY AND A COUPLE OF JURATS - KERLEY & DE VEULLE"



"THE WRITTEN JUDGEMENT"




"SO MANY SERIOUS QUESTIONS REMAIN"




"NONE BEING ASKED BY THE JERSEY MAINSTREAM MEDIA"





"IS IT A CASE OF FOLLOW THE MONEY??????"




I have raised the issues about how a name is now becoming data protected in the world of journalism  in Jersey.  The local media haven't even bothered to question this. In this short posting I want to raise the question about how and why the Jersey taxpayer funded this secret court case. There are some obvious questions to be asked and there might very well be some simple answers. The office of Data Protection spent around £380,000 on legal advise according to the Chief Minister during 'questions with dubious answers' in the States of Jersey. 


The most obvious questions arising from this, from a States Members point of view, is how much did it all cost and from which budget did the money come from?   But remember also that under the finance law all expenditure has to be authorised by a departmental Accounting Officer. It might be worth a States  Member to ask  who was the Accounting Officer and who authorised the expenditure in this case - and whether the Minister  is satisfied that the said accounting officer acted properly and within their legal powers.  Basically In consequence of this expenditure will there be an overspend on the annual budget approved by the States? and if so, will a proposition be brought to the House seeking to approve that expenditure?

I suspect that the Accounting Officer in this case could be the Attorney General ("AG"). Now, only Stuart Syvret knows when this secret court case was first sanctioned, in what year and who AG was at the time. Was it William Bailhache when he was AG?   William Bailhache was AG until June 2009 before being sworn in as Deputy Bailiff.  One thing for sure, if public money was spent, then it had to come from somebody's budget and only an Accounting Officer can authorise that. Has someone got too much money in their budget during these hard times? 

The current AG, Tim Le Cocq, has stated in the States that he didn't authorise this action so who did?  He might very well be right here. Could it be that it was William Bailhache as AG? This gives Tim Le Cocq his get out card.



The reason I have asked if it was William Bailhache is for the simple reason that the 4 representers against Stuart Syvret were represented by the Law Firm Appleby Global that used to be Bailhache and LaBesse. Is this a coincidence?  I think not. Follow the money and check who was in what post and at what time. 



Now I'm not saying 100% that it was then Attorney General, William Bailhache but my hunch is sending me in his direction.


Links for relevant information on this court case













Rico Sorda


Part Time Investigative Journalist











[2013]JRC1ROYAL COURT
(Samedi)
4 September 2013
Before     :
Sir Charles Gray, Kt., Commissioner, and Jurats Kerley and de Veulle.

Between
AB
First Representor

CD
Second representor

EF
Third Representor

GH
Fourth Representor
And
Stuart Syvret
Respondent
Advocate F. B. Robertson for the Representors.
The Respondent did not appear and was not represented.
JUDGMENT
THE COMMISSIONER:
Hearing in private
At the outset of the hearing I directed that the hearing should be in private because it seemed to us that this was necessary in order to secure the proper administration of justice: see Jersey Evening Post Limited-v-Al Thani and Ors [2002] JLR 542 at paras [14]-[15].
The nature of the Application
1.            This is an application by the representors named above for an Order pursuant to Article 10 of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005 (“the DPL”) requiring the respondent (Mr Syvret) to cease processing their personal data on his personal blog site, (“the Blog”), and not to begin processing such data hereafter. 
2.            The background to the present application is as follows: Mr Syvret served as a Deputy in the States of Jersey from 1990 to 1993 and as a Senator from 1993 until 2010.  During that time he was President of the Health and Social Services Committee from 1999 until 2005 and thereafter was Minister for Health and Social Services from 2005 until September 2007.  He forfeited his senatorial seat in April 2010 after he spent 6 months out of Jersey. 
3.            Mr Syvret set up the Blog in January 2008.  The four representors are amongst those who have been repeatedly identified by name on the Blog as having, amongst other things, engaged in criminal behaviour.  In order to prevent further identification of the representors, I have decided that they should be referred to in this judgment as AB, CD, EF and GH. 
4.            The case for the representors is that Mr Syvret is a “data controller” within the meaning of the DPL and that he has processed their personal data by uploading, publishing and storing false and offensive posts on the Blog.  The representors contend that the allegations made about them on the Blog are untrue and unjustified. 
5.            The representors further contend that Mr Syvret is responsible for and moderates comments left on the Blog by third parties.  Their case is that Mr Syvret would be able to remove such comments from the Blog but has refused to do so. 
6.            “Notices to Stop Processing” have been served on Mr Syvret on behalf of each of the representors.  They assert that Mr Syvret has refused to stop processing their personal data which remain stored and published on the Blog. 
7.            On 17th November, 2010, Mr Syvret was convicted in the Magistrate’s Court of two offences, one of disclosing personal data without consent and one of processing personal data without being registered as a data controller.  Mr Syvret’s appeal against his said conviction in the Magistrate’s Court was dismissed by the Royal Court on 30th August, 2011. 
8.            On 13th August, 2012, the representors made an application to the Court, without notice to Mr Syvret, seeking an interim injunction restraining him from posting on the Blog or any other blog any material relating to the representors.  The Royal Court granted the injunction sought.  Subsequently on 17th August, 2012, the Royal Court issued a clarification which stated that the injunction granted on 13th August, 2012, did not apply to material already stored on the Blog but only restrained him from posting additional material on the Blog in the future. 
9.            By the present application all four representors seek a final injunction restraining Mr Syvret from processing their personal data within the meaning of the DPL. 
Proceedings in private
10.        Before turning to the merits of the present application, we should explain why, as was made clear at the beginning of this judgment, the hearing of this application was held in private.  This is a case where we are satisfied that, if any publicity were to be given to the facts of the case (including the nature of the relief sought, the evidence given and the terms of the present judgment), the object of the application would be defeated.  For the same reasons that earlier proceedings in the case have been held in private, we are satisfied that the present proceedings, including the evidence, the written argument and the terms of this judgment, should also be private.  This means that no reporting of any part of the proceedings is permissible.
Delay
11.        Before turning to the substantive issues which arise in the present application, we must consider whether the delay which has occurred in the present case is such as to deprive the representors of any entitlement which they might otherwise have had to injunctive relief. 
12.        As Advocate Robertson, who appeared for the representors on the hearing of the present application, rightly accepted in the course of his admirably clear submissions, there was some delay both before the first Notice was issued on 3rd August, 2010, as well as thereafter.  His contention is that there are several reasons which explain the delay that occurred both before and after the Royal Court granted an interim injunction on 13th August, 2012. 
13.        The charges against Mr Syvret of offences under the DPL were laid as long ago as 3rd June and 8th July, 2009.  The date initially set for the trial of those charges was 27th September, 2010.  As we understand it, the principal reason why the trial did not take place earlier was that Mr Syvret left Jersey for about 6 month after being charged and did not return until April 2010. 
14.        In the event the criminal charges against Mr Syvret were not concluded until 17th November, 2010, when, as we have already said, he was convicted of both offences.  Mr Syvret appealed against those convictions.
15.        We were told by Advocate Robertson that the representors took the view that civil proceedings should not be commenced against Mr Syvret until after the outcome of the criminal proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court was known.  We do not feel that this was an unreasonable position for the representors to have adopted in all the circumstances of the present case.  Once Mr Syvret decided to appeal, a further postponement was inevitable.  The appeal was dismissed on 30th August, 2011. 
16.        Advocate Robertson invited us to take into account various considerations, namely:-
(i)            The fact that Mr Syvret decided to stand for election as Senator in October 2011;
(ii)          The fact that the fourth representor (who had sought the assistance of the Data Protection Controller in April 2011) needed to serve on Mr Syvret a formal “Notice to Stop Processing” in order to be entitled to the relief sought in these proceedings, and
(iii)         That Mr Syvret should be afforded a further opportunity to comply with the earlier requests made on behalf of the representors before proceedings were commenced.
17.        We have carefully considered whether the delay which has taken place between the final determination of the criminal proceedings in August 2011 and the issue of the present proceedings in August 2012 is in all the circumstances unreasonable.  We have concluded, not without some hesitation, that the delay which occurred over this period is not such as to deprive the representors of the relief sought.  We accept that this period of delay was in all the circumstances excusable.  In August 2012 directions were given for the substantive hearing of the present application. 
The relevant law
18.        We turn next to the applicable law.  The starting point is to consider in what circumstances individuals such as the four representors are entitled to prevent the processing of their personal data, which is the principal relief sought in the proceedings. 
19.        Article 10 of the DPL provides as follows:-
“Right to stop processing that causes distress or damage
(1) An individual is entitled at any time by notice in writing to a data controller to require the data controller at the end of such period as is reasonable in the circumstances to cease, or not to begin, processing, or processing for a specified purpose or in a specified manner, any personal data in respect of which the individual is the data subject, on the ground that, for reasons specified in the notice –
(a) the processing of those data or their processing for that purpose or in that manner is causing or is likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to the individual or to another individual; and
(b) that damage or distress is or would be unwarranted.”
(We need not set the terms of paragraph 10(2) because it appears to us that none of the conditions in paragraphs 1-4 of Schedule 2 is applicable)
“(3) The data controller shall within 21 days of receiving notice under paragraph (1) give the individuals who gave it a written notice –
(a) stating that the data controller has complied or intends to comply with the individuals notice; or
(b) stating the data controller’s reasons for regarding the individual’s notice as to any extent unjustified and the extent (if any) to which the data controller has complied or intends to comply with it.
(4) If a court is satisfied, on the application of any person who has given notice under paragraph (1) –
(a) that the notice is justified to any extent; and
(b) that the data controller in question has failed to comply with the notice to that extent, the court may order the data controller to take such steps as it thinks fit for complying with the notice to that extent.
(5) The failure by a data subject to exercise the right conferred by paragraph (1) does not affect any other right conferred on the data subject by this Part.”
20.        Mr Syvret having chosen not to take part in the present proceedings, Advocate Robertson drew our attention to the arguments which Mr Syvret might have advanced if he had been present.  He accepted that, where the circumstances in which the data is processed are clearly in the public interest and must necessarily be carried out without the consent of the individual concerned, then the processing of the information will be lawful.  He drew our attention to the Data Protection (Sensitive Personal Date)(Jersey) Regulations 2005, which contain a list of additional circumstances in which the processing of sensitive personal data is permitted.  He also referred us to Article 32 of the DPL which provides a number of additional exemptions. 
21.        However, it is in our judgment clear that none of these provisions are applicable in the circumstances of the present case.  There is no suggestion that any of the claimants consented to the processing of their personal data.  Nor is the data in the public domain.  We do not accept that the data with which this case is concerned could be exempted on the ground it was reasonable in the public interest for it to be published; see the decision of the English Court of Appeal in Campbell-v-Mirror Group Newspapers [2003] QB 633 at paragraph 120-1.
22.        Mr Syvret has sought to rely on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  It is however, established law that the right to freedom of expression contained in Article 10 has to be balanced against the right to respect for private and family life contained in Article 8 of the Convention.  Whilst we accept that Article 8 does not encompass a right to privacy as such, there is ample authority that the Court is required in cases such as the present one to have regard to the rights of individuals such as the representors in the present case to respect for their private and family life.  We are in no doubt that the right of Mr Syvret to freedom of expression is outweighed by the right of the representors to protection under Article 8. 
Applicability of the DPL to blog sites
23.        Although Mr Syvret has chosen not to appear before us we have nevertheless considered whether the provisions of section 10 of the DPL apply to blog sites.  There is no Jersey authority, so far as we are aware, on this point.  We were therefore invited by Advocate Robertson to consider the position under English law. 
24.        We accept that section 1 of the English Data Protection Act 1998 defines “data” in broad terms. 
25.        We were referred by Advocate Robertson to Carter-Ruck on Libel and Privacy (6th edition), paragraph 22.14 of which reads as follows:-
“Given the now near-ubiquitous retention and processing of information in electronic form on digital devices by those working in the media – and many other – contexts, the scope of the first two of these concepts is extremely broad.  They would extent, for example, to information captured and/or held in audio, visual and textual file formats on computers, video cameras, voice recorders, disks and so on.”
26.        It appears to us that Jersey law should likewise give a wide meaning to the term “data”.  Since posts on the Blog are disseminated to others by computers and/or the internet, we consider that posts on blogsites fall within the scope of the DPL.
Interaction between the DPL and other causes of action such as defamation and harassment.
27.        Given that, so far as we are aware, there is no Jersey authority as to the interaction between data protection law and other parallel concepts such as defamation, we think it right that we should consider the English authorities which bear on the point.  We feel that we are justified in doing so since the English Data Protection Act is in very similar terms to the Jersey DPL. 
28.        We were referred by Advocate Robertson to two English authorities, namely Campbell-v-Mirror Group Newspapers [2004] 2 WLR 1232 and The Law Society-v-Kordowski [2011] EWHC 3185.  Whilst we accept that it is the practice in England for claimants to advance claims for defamation and harassment with a claim for data protection in the same proceedings, we are satisfied that there is no reason why a claim for data protection should not stand alone as a separate and distinct cause of action. 
29.        In Kordowski, Tugendhat J observed at paragraph 172:-
“I note with interest that an injunction preventing the processing of personal data in relation to a website was granted in representative proceedings in SHG-v-Baines [2006] EWHC 2359…  The terms of the injunction were to restrain publication of defamatory words and harassment as well as processing personal data.”
Tugendhat J granted a perpetual injunction in Kordowski restraining the defendant from processing personal data as well as from publishing defamatory words and harassment. 
30.        Whilst we are not of course obliged to follow English authority, which is no more than persuasive as far as the Courts of Jersey are concerned, we think it right that the Courts of Jersey should follow English law.  Accordingly we take the view that the court may in an appropriate case grant relief under Article 10 of the DPL independently of any other cause of action. 
The first question: do the posts on the Blog constitute “sensitive personal data” as defined in the DPL?
31.        We now turn to the questions which arise in relation to the concepts which are to be found in the DPL, starting with the definition of “sensitive personal data”. 
32.        Article 1 of the DPL defines “data” as:-
“Information which is being processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose, is recorded as part of a relevant filing system or with the intention that it should form part of a relevant filing system, or forms part of an accessible record.”
Given that posts on the Blog are both stored and disseminated via computers and/or the internet, we consider that they fall within the definition of “data” in the DPL.
33.        The next question is whether the data with which the case is concerned qualifies as “personal” data.  Article 1 of the DPL defines such data as being:-
“data that relates to a living individual who can be identified [either] from those data, or [else] from those data and other information that is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the relevant data controller, and includes any expression of opinion about an individual who can be so identified and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of an individual who can be so identified.”
34.        The material criteria are:-
(i)            The identifiability of the individual concerned and
(ii)          The possession or likely possession of the data.
It is to be noted that data includes “any expression of opinion about an individual”.  We have noted the hostile and abusive opinions expressed by Mr Syvret on the Blog. 
35.        In Durant-v-Financial Services Authority [2003] EWCA Civ 1746 the English Court of Appeal indicated two ways in which it might be determined whether data qualifies as personal data about an individual: firstly, by considering whether the information is “biographical to a significant degree” and, secondly, by considering whether the person concerned is “the focus of the information”.  We are satisfied on the basis of Durant that the data with which this case is concerned qualifies as “personal” data for the purposes of the DPL. 
36.        Finally we consider next whether the personal data concerning the representors qualify as “sensitive” personal data?  The term is defined in Article 2 of the DPL as comprising inter alia information about an individual’s physical or mental condition, sexual life, commission or alleged commission of criminal offences and any related legal proceedings. 
37.        The reason why it is material to consider whether the information with which the case is concerned qualifies as “sensitive” is that the DPL imposes an additional requirement that sensitive personal data should be processed “fairly and lawfully”
38.        It appears to us to be clear that many of the posts on the Blog complained of do come within the statutory definition of “sensitive personal data” in Article 2 of the DPL.  In particular we are satisfied that some posts contain data about the commission or alleged commission of criminal offences and proceedings regarding such offences. 
39.        We note that in his response to the notices to stop processing issued on behalf of the first, second and third representors, Mr Syvret contended that the information published on the Blog consists of “generally known, public information, hearsay, opinions, and other such, much of which was conveyed to me by my former constituents.  It thus constitutes material that falls squarely within the bounds of free speech as guaranteed by the ECHR.”
40.        As it appears to us, Mr Syvret is implicitly accepting in the description he gives of the material contained on the Blog that it does contain “personal data” which is “sensitive” within the meaning of Article 2 of the DPL. 
Is Mr Syvret the “data controller” of material published on the Blog?
41.        We are satisfied that Mr Syvret comes with the definition of “Data Controller” in Article 1 of the DPL which defines a data controller as meaning:-
“a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purpose for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed”.
We accept that Mt Syvret falls fair and square within this definition; on his own case it was he who decided what personal data should be processed and his purpose and manner of doing so. 
42.        An allied question is whether Mr Syvret “processed” data on the Blog.  We note that “processing” is defined in Article 1 of the Law as follows:-
“”Processing”, in relation to information or data, means obtaining, re cording or holding the information or data, or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data, including –
(a) organising, adapting, or altering the information or data;
(b) retrieving, consulting or using the information or data;
(c) disclosing the information or data by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making it available; or
(d) aligning, combining, blocking, erasing or destroying the information or data.”
43.        We are satisfied on the evidence that Mr Syvret carried out most, if not all, of the operations on the information or data published on the Blog which are set out in (a) to (d) inclusive.  In consequence we find that he is the “data controller” of the material on the Blog. 
Substantial damage or distress
44.        The principal relief sought against Mr Syvret by the representors is an injunction.  We consider that each of the representors is plainly entitled to the injunctive relief sought. 
45.        The representors also claim that they have suffered substantial damage and substantial distress.  Given the nature of the allegations made by Mr Syvret against each of the representors, we readily accept that each of them will have been distressed and angered by the postings on the Blog. 
46.        The statutory requirement sit at the representors must establish substantial distress.  There is little help to be derived from the English authorities as to the meaning in the present context of the word “substantial”.  We consider that, when used to qualify distress, substantial bears the meaning that the distress caused is more than merely trivial. 
47.        As to the requirement that the damage suffered must be substantial we take the view that the word “substantial”, when applied to the level of damage, bears the same meaning as it does when applied to distress, namely that to qualify as substantial the damage suffered must be more than merely trivial.  We reject the notion that damage needs to involve financial loss or physical harm in order to qualify as substantial. 
48.        Each of the four representors describes both in that Notice to Stop Processing and in that witness statements the nature of the damage and distress they claim to have suffered. 
49.        One of the representors explains in the Stop Notice the nature of the substantial distress and substantial damage he claims to have suffered.  He asserts that the distress arises mainly from the statements accusing him of most serious criminal wrongdoing.  As to damage, his case is that the unwarranted imputations made by Mr Syvret about him have caused substantial damage to his business interests as well as damage to his health and reputation.  The other representors advance comparable claims as to the damage suffered. 
50.        We are satisfied that the distress and damage suffered by each of the four representors are “substantial” in the sense which we have indicated. 
51.        Accordingly for the reasons set out above we are satisfied that each of the applicants has established his entitlement to the relief sought. 
Authorities
Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
Data Protection (Sensitive Personal Date)(Jersey) Regulations 2005.
European Convention on Human Rights.
Data Protection Act 1998.
Carter-Ruck on Libel and Privacy (6th edition).
The Law Society-v-Kordowski [2011] EWHC 3185.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

JERSEY EVENING POST - THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ACTION OF DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER EMMA MARTINS






DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER EMMA MARTINS

DEPUTY TRACY VALLOIS  - CHAIR OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE





"THE JERSEY EVENING POST"




"THEY SIMPLY FEAR CITIZENS MEDIA PART 2"





PART 1 CAN BE READ HERE.



http://ricosorda.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-jersey-evening-post-they-simply.html





LIBEL & DEFAMATION REPLACED BY DATA PROTECTION & THEIR COMMISSIONER EMMA MARTINS.


WHERE DO WE NOW STAND IN JERSEY REGARDING CITIZEN AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA ?


HAVE THE JERSEY EVENING POST JEP MISSED THE POINT - HAVE THE ENTIRE JERSEY MSM MISSED THE POINT?





Can we now say  by publishing someones name - no matter in what context - that we can now be dragged through a secret court case funded by the taxpayer?  This is the crucial matter that has been over looked in my opinion. This comes down to interpretation. Stuart Syvret has mentioned peoples name on his blog complete with allegations concerning them.  The Data Protection Law and not a Libel action has been used and this surely sets a very dangerous precedent not only for Citizen Media but for every Mainstream Media outlet in Jersey. Why have they remained silent on this? Have they been distracted by the fact that it is Stuart Syvret? 


Can Stuart Syvret - former CPO Graham Power - Lenny Harper  and any other member of the public now bring a Data Protection action against the JEP for any articles written by them (JEP)  that might be distressing  and damaging - how do we quantify distressing and damaging? Maybe they should be contacting Data Protection Commissioner, Emma Martins.   This is very serious. Think about it. 


After all the vitriol that the bloggers have had to endure and the hands of the JEP - calling into question our integrity, motives and accusing us of publishing "Allegations without Substance" can we now bring a class action against the JEP - funded by the taxpayer - and ask them to remove all mention of blogs/bloggers -Lenny Harper and anybody else who have attempted to bring child abusers and their protectors to account.


In today's JEP the Data Protection Commissioner, Emma Martins has come out with a statement that could set in motion a collision course with the UK Parliament. Let me quote her exact words - if accurately interpreted by the JEP. 


The JEP asked Emma Martins - " Whether further action would be taken against Mr Syvret or others who have named identified the four"


Mrs Martins replied " Every complaint we receive is dealt with in accordance with our statutory powers. The Royal Court judgement is clear, and the office of data protection commissioner notes that all of the applicants have been successful in winning the relief that they were seeking. This has been a difficult, complex and long-running case which has taken a real personal toll on the applicants. We are all accountable for what we write and say in the online environment  and that accountability applies equally to those who claim journalistic status - they also have to face the legal consequence arising from damage that they do and the lasting harm that they can cause during their actions. This judgement shows clearly that the laws that protect us in our everyday life also extend online. There will be no further comment from this office."End


Deputy Trevor and Shona Pitman could have saved themselves a fortune by going to the data protection office instead of taking a libel action.  You can now by-pass the press complaints commission and go straight to Emma martins - what is good for the goose is surely good for the gander. 


Now, I'm opening these concerns and questions to the public. Have I got my interpretation of this wrong? I'm simply asking the question. By using Data Protection and not Libel has a whole new precedent been set?


I have copied  the names of the 4 individuals involved and has a multitude of other  blog sites from the 'UK Parliament Hansard'. Will we now see Emma Martins taking them on in court to have them removed? If I have to take them down, then surely the UK Parliament Hansard must follow suit.


The JEP never contacted Stuart Syvret for a reply until after their piece had been written and published. How ironic that the reply they did publish in today's paper comes straight from his blog. He asked for  a set of questions but instead the JEP went for a quick cut and paste job. This is becoming, as with all things Judicial and Legislative in Jersey, a complete joke.


Again some very serious questions must be asked of the Data Protection Office, via the Chief Minister, Ian Gorst, who has political oversight of said office, about just  how much money has been spent, out of what budget the money has come from and surely the tax paying public of Jersey has a right to know. 

Could/ Should the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the leadership of Deputy Vallois and the watchful eye of Senator Ferguson start following the money and find out exactly how much this has cost the Jersey Taxpayer.

Make no mistake we are dealing with a systemic  and shambolic level of governance that must come to an end one way or the other. This is not sustainable. We need serious checks and balances across all functions of Judiciary and Governance.


Rico Sorda

Part Time Investigative Journalist

Citizen Media and Proud. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

THE JERSEY EVENING POST - THEY SIMPLY FEAR CITIZEN MEDIA






"THE JERSEY EVENING POST"



"A MOST REMARKABLE EDITORIAL"



"THE EDITOR WHO WROTE THIS PIECE HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT AT BEST THE JEP IS SLEEPING ON THE JOB OR AT WORST  JUST USELESS "


"I BELIEVE THEY ARE SIMPLY LYING"



"THIS WAS NOT A LIBEL CASE BUT A DATA PROTECTION ISSUE"



"THEY FEAR THE INTERNET. THE GENIE IS OUT OF THE BOTTLE AND HAS NO WISH OF RETURNING"



THEY STATE:

"However, although the outcome of this case is without doubt highly satisfactory, one aspect of the legal process was less than satisfactory. At a very late stage the Jersey Evening Post was able to question the principle of the case being heard in private.
This question would have been put before proceedings began but for the fact that the newspaper, and indeed the great majority of Islanders, were unaware that the action had been launched."


"THE FEAR  THEY HAVE FOR CITIZEN MEDIA IS THERE FOR ALL TO SEE"


MAINSTREAM MEDIA THE WORLD OVER KNOW THE POWER OF THE INTERNET IS SURPASSING THEM ON ALL LEVELS. THE JERSEY MSM IS NO DIFFERENT.



THE EDITORIAL

Justice that should be transparent
Thursday 5th September 2013, 5:33PM BST.


.
A ROYAL Court judgment published yesterday spelled out an important message: bloggers can be barred from publishing scurrilous, distressing and damaging allegations on the internet.
The judgment also made it clear that claims that such material can be circulated on the basis of spurious appeals to the public interest or equally spurious reference to Human Rights Law will not be accepted as excuses for publication.
The judgment was published after the court had granted an injunction to four unnamed individuals who successfully claimed that they had been unreasonably, unfairly, systematically and unlawfully traduced in a blog published by former States Senator Stuart Syvret. Founded on the provisions of the Island’s Data Protection Law, the judgment means that Mr Syvret has been ordered to remove the distressing and damaging material and to desist from publishing material of a similar character.
As well as ordering the removal of unacceptable content from an online publication and to some extent alleviating the anguish of those who have been attacked, the judgment fires an important shot across the bows of those self-defined ‘citizen journalists’ who wrongly assume that they are beyond the limits of the law. Neither mode of publication nor strength of personal belief in accusations can be permitted to allow distressing allegations to be recklessly disseminated.
However, although the outcome of this case is without doubt highly satisfactory, one aspect of the legal process was less than satisfactory. At a very late stage the Jersey Evening Post was able to question the principle of the case being heard in private.
This question would have been put before proceedings began but for the fact that the newspaper, and indeed the great majority of Islanders, were unaware that the action had been launched.
In the event, the presiding judge’s reasons for hearing the case in camera were entirely sound, but, as he acknowledged in a parallel judgment also issued yesterday, justice must be as open and transparent as possible. It is therefore clear that the opportunity to challenge court secrecy should be available before a court sits rather than when it has concluded its deliberations – even if there are those in authority who might feel that the latter is sometimes more convenient. End

I'm leaving the legal ins and outs of this court case to Stuart Syvret to do if he so wishes. I have no doubt he will have plenty to say and put the record straight on some of the reporting.


But let us look at this editorial. The first bit that jumps out at me is this.


"However, although the outcome of this case is without doubt highly satisfactory, one aspect of the legal process was less than satisfactory. At a very late stage the Jersey Evening Post was able to question the principle of the case being heard in private.

This question would have been put before proceedings began but for the fact that the newspaper, and indeed the great majority of Islanders, were unaware that the action had been launched."

On the 18th September 2012 Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming made a speech in the House of Commons under parliamentary privilege. During this speech he said:
"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."

Now, what is simply incredible, is that on the 20th September 2012, two days after John Hemmings speech, the JEP Editorial wrote this:

Allegations without substance

Thursday 20th September 2012,


JOHN Hemming, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, represents a Birmingham constituency. You could, however, be forgiven for imagining that he has a seat in our own States Assembly.

Why? Because he seems to be at least as concerned about what may or may not have happened in Jersey as he is about affairs in his own backyard.

In the House of Commons earlier this week Mr Hemming, a political ally of former Senator Stuart Syvret, asserted that this Island is utterly corrupt and a hotbed of conspiracies and cover-ups. We have, of course, heard all this before, but the one thing that is consistently missing from these allegations is any sort of proof that would stand up to serious scrutiny.

All sorts of wild accusations about the Island and the supposed perfidy of its authorities fly about on the internet – but so do reports of flying saucers and alien abductions.

It is also worth pointing out that if many of these allegations were published in this newspaper it would very likely find itself in court facing a series of libel actions – which would be indefensible through lack of supportive evidence. But the bloggers who are responsible for defaming all and sundry online have little to fear on this score because potential litigants realise that they are men of straw incapable of paying any damages awarded against them.

Meanwhile, given that the UK has an explicit and well recognised duty to ensure the good governance of the Channel Islands, does Mr Hemming really believe that successive governments of various political hues have turned a blind eye to the scandals that he claims to detect? Perhaps he believes that the massive cover-up he is so eager to expose extends all the way to the UK’s corridors of power.End


What has happened up at the Jersey Evening Post? Have they got memory loss? They can't even remember that they knew then didn't know then knew again and at the last moment  thought oh god we had better get something in damn quick because we will look bad if we don't because of freedom to report and all that nonsense. This is simply a joke - a complete and utter joke. I reported on this rubbish back in September 2012 and laid down a challenge to the JEP to put up or shut up. Me the blogger and my evidence against their editors in a BBC Studio in Jersey. Head to Head. They declined. Yes, they declined to go head to head with a citizen journalist. 
The paper is slowly dying. With failing sales it keeps pumping out this utter garbage thinking the people will keep lapping it like they have for decades. As with every passing year the Internet with it's independent journalists will move forward and keep on getting stronger. The challenge I laid down can be read here.

I have no idea what has been achieved by this court case apart from the lawyers involved looking at property portfolios from exotic far away places. The JEP knew exactly what was going on a year ago but these clowns thought it was a conspiracy theory. I take it they must have a judgement because of the simple reason no one was allowed to know that this case was going on. 

I will leave the court case and its implications to Stuart Syvret. 

Rico Sorda 

Part Time Investigative Journalist 

Citizen Media and Proud




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

OGIER LAW FIRM - THEY HAVE THE PLACE SURROUNDED


























"OGIER LAW FIRM" 


"THEY HAVE THE PLACE SURROUNDED"


JOBS FOR THE BOYS????


THEY EVEN HEAD UP THE "INDEPENDENT" POLICE AUTHORITY 


SENATOR LE MARQUAND  SHOULD BE FACING SOME VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONING REGARDING THIS APPOINTMENT OF ADVOCATE JONATHAN WHITE



MEMBERS PAST AND PRESENT GET A NICE LITTLE JOB 


SIR MICHAEL CAMERON ST JOHN  BIRT  QC


Sir Michael is the 88th Bailiff of Jersey


Sir Michael practised at Jersey Law Firm Ogier & Le Cornu from 1976 to 1993

In January 1994 he was appointed Attorney General 

In February 2000 he became Deputy Bailiff 

In July 2009 he became Bailiff 


JULIAN CLYDE-SMITH

Commissioner to the Royal Court of Jersey

Retired Jersey advocate and former partner of Ogier Law Firm practised the same time as Michael Birt. Julien sat as commissioner on former Police Chief Graham Powers Judicial Review. The most heavily conflicted Judicial Review ever conducted in my opinion.


TIM  LE  COCQ QC

H.M ATTORNEY GENERAL JERSEY 

Former Partner of Ogier Law Firm.

One of Ogier's Jersey partners Tim Le Cocq, has been appointed as Her Majesty's Solicitor General for Jersey with effect from the retirement of the current Solicitor General, Stephanie Nicolle Q.C., at the end of March 2008.
Tim qualified as a Jersey advocate in 1985 and has been a partner in Ogier since February 1992. He will retire from the Ogier partnership at the end of January 2008 and is expected to be sworn in as Solicitor General in April 2008.
With Tim's appointment, we see a continuation of the Ogier tradition of public service. Michael Birt and Julian Clyde-Smith, both former Ogier partners, currently hold the offices of Deputy Bailiff of Jersey and Commissioner of the Royal Court of Jersey respectively.
Practised at the same time as Birt & Clyde-Smith and also represented the Home Affairs Minister during the farcical Judicial Review of the suspension of Graham Power



ADVOCATE JONATHAN WHITE

A LAWYER who already chairs Jersey Finance and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has been appointed to head the new independent body that will oversee the running of the Island’s police force.
As chairman of the Jersey Police Authority, Advocate Jonathan White will be responsible for ensuring that the States of Jersey Police is an efficient and effective force.
He will be joined on the board by up to six other members who are still to be appointed, two of whom will be States Members.
Advocate White is a former managing partner and group chairman of the law firm Ogier, which during his time at the firm grew into an international fiduciary services business in nine jurisdictions and from which he retired in 2009.
From Ogier Website:
After 21 years as a Partner, of which over 15 have been involved in managing and developing the business, Jonathan White has decided to stand down as a Partner of Ogier. Whilst he remains deeply committed to Ogier, Jonathan believes that the time is right for him to step aside and to develop other interests.He will retire as a Partner with effect from 31 July 2009 but will be retained as a consultant by Ogier working on both client matters and special projects. This will be a substantial commitment and is one that pleases Jonathan given his long-term and special association with Ogier. Clive Chaplin, the new Ogier Group Chairman, said that "We are delighted to be able to continue to draw on his expertise in a meaningful way which will be to our mutual benefit.
Practised at the same time as the Attorney General 


MATTHEW THOMPSON

MASTER OF THE ROYAL COURT JERSEY

Area of expertise:

Litigation, Employment Law, Restructuring & Insolvency

Background:

Matthew Thompson joined Ogier in 1993, qualified as a Jersey Advocate in 1996 and became a partner in 1997. He is one of the few Jersey lawyers to have qualified by obtaining a diploma from Caen University.

Prior to joining Ogier Matthew had spent six years in the UK with two leading firms.

Matthew specialises in commercial litigation, trust and shareholder disputes, asset tracing, fraud, regulatory and money laundering issues and employment law.  He is recommended by a number of leading directories in his areas of expertise.  He is a member of ACTAPS, the Jersey Financial Services Commission Steering Group on Anti-Money Laundering.

Matthew was Managing Partner of the Jersey office from 2008 to 2011 and remains a member of the management team. He also co-ordinates Ogier's multi-jurisdictional litigation service.

LAW SOCIETY NEWS
Matthew Thompson is retiring from the panel upon his appointment of Master of the Royal Court. Our grateful thanks to Matthew for his contribution and indeed also to the new and existing members of the panel for giving up their time to assist the Law Society in upholding the highest standards of professional conduct.