Standards (Jersey) Law 2017
A LAW to establish the office of
Commissioner for Standards and to make provision for connected purposes.
Adopted by the
States 1st February 2017
Order of Her Majesty in Council 12th April 2017
Registered by the
Royal Court 21st
THE STATES, subject to the sanction of Her Most Excellent Majesty in Council, have
adopted the following Law –
In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires –
“code” means any of
the following as the case requires –
code of conduct for elected members of the States set out in Schedule 3 to
the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey; or
code of conduct and code of practice for Ministers and Assistant Ministers
referred to in Article 18(3A) of the States of Jersey Law 2005;
the Commissioner for Standards established under Article 2;
“independently audited States body” has the same meaning
as in Article 1 of the Public Finances (Jersey) Law 2005;
“lodge” has the same
meaning as in Article 1(1) of the States of Jersey Law 2005;
“PPC” means the
Privileges and Procedures Committee established under the Standing Orders of
the States of Jersey;
“States’ employee” has the same meaning as in
Article 2 of the Employment of States of Jersey Employees (Jersey) Law
“States funded body”
has the same meaning as in Article 1 of the Public Finances (Jersey)
appointment and administration
There shall be an office of Commissioner for Standards.
PPC shall appoint a person to the office of Commissioner.
the PCC appoints a person to the office of Commissioner, the PPC must present
to the States notice of its intention to make the appointment at least 2 weeks
before the appointment is made.
person, on being appointed to the office of Commissioner –
cease to hold any employment as a States’ employee; and
cease to hold any other office or employment (whether or not for remuneration)
with any States funded body or independently audited States body.
person, whilst holding the office of Commissioner, shall be disqualified from
holding any employment or office described in paragraph (3).
PPC may appoint a person to carry out the duties of the office of Commissioner
office is vacant; or
holder of the office is unable to perform the functions of the office.
PPC must report an appointment under paragraph (5) to the States at the
first reasonable opportunity.
and conditions of appointment
to paragraphs (2), (3) and (4), and any other provision of this Law, a
person appointed to the office of Commissioner shall hold the office on such
terms and conditions as are agreed between the person and the PPC.
person shall be appointed to the office of Commissioner for a fixed term of up
to 5 years.
appointment may be extended for one or more fixed terms provided that the total
length of the appointment, including the initial appointment under
paragraph (2), does not exceed 9 years.
person cannot be appointed to the office of Commissioner more than once.
5 Revocation of appointment
States may revoke the appointment of a person to the office of
a proposition lodged by the PPC; or
a proposition signed by at least 11 members of the States in addition to
the member of the States lodging the proposition.
States shall debate the proposition in camera.
proposition must allege one of the following grounds for revocation, namely,
that the person holding the office of Commissioner –
not carried out the duties of the office in a competent manner;
incapacitated either mentally or physically from carrying out the duties of the
neglected to carry out all or any of the duties of the office;
failed to comply with any term or condition of his or her appointment;
indulged in dishonourable conduct;
without the approval of the PPC, taken leave of absence not provided for by his
or her terms and conditions of appointment; or
been convicted of an offence and, by virtue of the conviction, has shown
himself or herself not to be a fit and proper person to continue to hold
report accompanying the proposition must set out details of the evidence to be
relied upon to support the allegation.
proposition cannot be lodged unless the person holding the office of
been given a copy of the report mentioned in paragraph (4); and
been given such reasonable opportunity as the circumstances allow to prepare a
written statement in respect of the evidence mentioned in the report.
statement prepared in accordance with paragraph (5)(b) must accompany the
proposition when it is lodged.
the proposition has been lodged the PPC may suspend the Commissioner from
office if the proposition is one to which paragraph (1)(a) refers.
the proposition –
not approved by the States after debate; or
not debated by the States within 3 months of being lodged,
the Commissioner must be restored to office without loss of
remuneration or any other benefits.
6 Vacancy in office
office of Commissioner becomes vacant if the term of appointment of the person
holding the office expires.
also becomes vacant if the person holding the office –
the PPC written notice of resignation from the appointment;
nominated for election to the States;
appointed to any paid office or other place of profit under the Crown;
a paid officer in the service of any parish;
compulsorily detained or subject to guardianship under the Mental Health
(Jersey) Law 1969;
a curator of his or her person or property appointed;
an attorney appointed without whom he or she may not act in matters movable or
bankrupt or makes a composition or arrangement with his or her creditors;
convicted of an offence involving corruption; or
in Jersey or elsewhere, is convicted of any offence and ordered to be
office of Commissioner also becomes vacant if the States, acting in accordance
with Article 5, revoke the appointment of the person holding the office.
The States must ensure that the Commissioner is provided with such
administrative and other support, including staff, services and accommodation,
as the Commissioner may reasonably require for the purpose of discharging the
functions of the Commissioner under this Law.
of civil liability
Article applies to –
(a) a person
who is or has been the Commissioner; and
person who is or has been or is acting or has acted as, an officer or agent of
person to whom this Article applies is not liable in damages for any act done
in the discharge, or purported discharge, of the functions of the Commissioner
under this Law or any other enactment.
(3) Paragraph (2)
does not apply –
it is shown that the act was done in bad faith; or
as to prevent an award of damages made in respect of an act on the ground that
the act was unlawful as a result of Article 7(1) of the Human Rights
(Jersey) Law 2000.
powers and duties
9 Commissioner’s functions relating to investigations, complaints and other
matters concerning a code
functions of the Commissioner are –
investigate a complaint to the Commissioner that, at a relevant time, a breach
of a code as in force at that time occurred;
initiate an investigation if the Commissioner believes that, at a relevant
time, a breach of a code as in force at that time may have occurred;
report to the PPC on the outcome of any investigation referred to in
paragraph (1)(a) or (b);
the Commissioner’s own initiative or, if requested by the PPC, to give
advice on any matter relating to standards of conduct of elected members of the
States or standards of conduct and practice of Ministers and Assistant
Ministers, including proposals to change a code;
requested by the Chief Minister, to give advice on any matter relating to
standards of conduct and practice of Ministers and Assistant Ministers,
including proposals to change the code referred to in paragraph (b) of the
paragraph (1)(a) and (b), “relevant time” means any time that
is not earlier than the date that is 12 months before the date that this
Article comes into force.
Commissioner shall not accept any complaint which –
the Commissioner’s opinion, is frivolous, vexatious or unsubstantiated;
(c) is from
a person who is not a member of the States regarding words spoken by, or
actions of, an elected member during a meeting of the States.
receipt of a complaint described in paragraph (1)(a), the Commissioner
must decide whether there are grounds to investigate and shall
the complainant that no such grounds exist; or
Commissioner shall determine the procedure and timing of any investigation.
making a report to the PPC under paragraph (1)(c), the Commissioner shall
state his or her conclusions and recommend what action, if any, should be
Commissioner’s conclusions and recommendations are not binding on the PPC.
Commissioner must not be directed on how any function of the office of
Commissioner is to be carried out, including, in particular, whether or not to
undertake an investigation referred to in Article 9(1)(a) or (b).
Commissioner may seek legal advice from the Attorney General on any subject
relevant to the functions of the office of the Commissioner and the Attorney
General may provide that advice.
11 Statement of
manner in which functions are to be discharged
Commissioner shall make and publish a statement of the manner in which he or
she proposes to discharge his or her functions under this Law and any other
Commissioner shall keep under review and revise, as needed, the statement made
and published under paragraph (1).
Commissioner must, at the same time a statement or revision is made, provide a
copy of the statement or revision, as the case may be, to the PPC.
PPC must, as soon as reasonably practicable, lay the statement, and any
revision of it, before the States.
12 Duty to prepare
Commissioner must, each year –
a report in respect of the activities of the office of Commissioner for the
previous year; and
the same time as the report is made provide a copy of it to the PPC.
PPC must, as soon as reasonably practicable, lay the report before the States.
powers and enforcement
13 Power to summons
people to appear and to provide records
Commissioner may, in the exercise of his or her functions, do all or any of the
a person to appear before the Commissioner or to produce a specified record, or
to do both;
a person to answer questions;
a person who has access to a record to provide the information contained in it
to the Commissioner in a legible and comprehensible form.
power under paragraph (1)(a) to require a record to be produced includes a
(a) if the record is
produced, to retain the record or to take copies of it or extracts from the
information it contains; and
(b) if the record is not
produced, to require the person to whom the requirement was directed to state,
to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, where it is.
records are retained, a list of the records must be supplied to the person from
whom they were obtained.
record retained under paragraph (2)(a) –
(a) may be retained for one
(b) if within that year
proceedings to which the record is relevant are commenced against any person,
may be retained until the conclusion of those proceedings.
(5) If –
Commissioner has retained a record under paragraph (2)(a); and
person reasonably requires the record for his or her business,
the Commissioner must provide the person with a copy of it as soon
as reasonably practicable.
(6) In this
Part “record” means any written document or information, whether or
not in electronic form.
14 Offence: failure
to appear, to answer questions or to provide information
person shall be guilty of an offence if, when summonsed or required to do so by
the Commissioner acting in accordance with Article 13, the person fails or
appear before the Commissioner;
produce a specified record;
answer truthfully or at all any question;
provide information contained in a record in a legible and comprehensible form;
(e) to state, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, where a
person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) shall be liable to a fine
of level 4 on the standard scale.
shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under
paragraph (1) for the person to show that there was a reasonable excuse
for the failure or refusal.
providing false record or information
person shall be guilty of an offence if, when required to produce a record
under this Law or knowing that a record may be required to be produced under
this Law, the person, with intent to deceive –
the record or in any other way renders it unintelligible or useless, or
difficult or impossible to retrieve; or
it in any way to make the information it contains false or misleading in a
person shall be guilty of an offence if, when required to provide information
under this Law, the person knowingly provides information that is false,
misleading or incomplete in a material way.
person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) shall be liable to
imprisonment for a term of 5 years and to a fine.
person guilty of an offence under paragraph (2) shall be liable to
imprisonment for a term of 2 years and to a fine.
16 Offence: obstruction
person shall be guilty of an offence if he or she hinders or obstructs a person
in the exercise by that person of a function under this Law.
person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) shall be liable to
imprisonment for a term of 6 months and to a fine of level 4 on the
miscellaneous and closing
protection and self-incrimination
in this Law requires a person to produce a record or to provide information
that the person would, in an action in the Royal Court, be entitled to refuse
to produce or provide on the grounds of legal professional privilege.
a lawyer must disclose the name and address of a client if required to do so by
a person acting in accordance with this Law.
a person provides, in compliance with a request made in accordance with this
Law, a record or other information in respect of another person the provision
of that record or information shall not be regarded as a breach of any duty
owed by the first person to the second person or to any other person.
answer given by a person to a question put to the person in exercise of a power
conferred by this Law may be used in evidence against the person.
in criminal proceedings in which the person is charged with an offence, other
than an offence under Article 15 –
evidence relating to the answer may be adduced; and
question relating to it may be asked,
by or on behalf of the prosecution, unless evidence relating to it
is adduced, or a question relating to it is asked, in the proceedings by or on
behalf of that person.
18 Amendment of
States may, by Regulations, amend any enactment in consequence of any provision
of this enactment.
under paragraph (1) may contain such provision as appears to the States to
be necessary, incidental or supplemental for the purpose of those Regulations.
This Law may be cited as the Commissioner for Standards (Jersey)
Law 2017 and shall come into force on such day or days as the States may
by Act appoint.
dr. m. egan
Greffier of the States