B.F. Burt and H.I. Burt v States of Jersey

JurisdictionJersey
CourtRoyal Court
JudgeHamon, Commr. and Jurats Coutanche and Hamon:
Judgment Date30 November 1993
Date30 November 1993
ROYAL COURT
Hamon, Commr. and Jurats Coutanche and Hamon:

G.R. Boxall for the plaintiffs;

Miss S.C. Nicolle, Crown Advocate, for the States.

Cases cited:

(1) Bank of England v. Vagliano Bros., [1891] A.C. 107; [1891-4] All E.R. Rep. 93; (1891), 64 L.T. 353; 7 T.L.R. 333; 60 L.J.Q.B. 145; 39 W.R. 657; 55 J.P. Jo. 676, dicta of Lord Herschell considered.

(2) Fitzgerald v. Hall, Russell & Co. Ltd., [1970] A.C. 984; [1969] 3 All E.R. 1140; 1970 S.C. (H.L.) 1; 1970 S.L.T. 37; [1969] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 514; 1970 I.T.R. 1; (1969), 7 K.I.R. 263; 113 Sol. Jo. 899, dicta of Lord Upjohn considered.

(3) Le Monnier v. Att. Gen., 1989 JLR 170.

(4) Mayger v. Mayger, 1991 JLR N-1.

(5) R. v. Maqsud Ali, [1966] 1 Q.B. 688; [1965] 2 All E.R. 464; (1965), 49 Cr. App. R. 230; 129 J.P. 396; 109 Sol. Jo. 331.

(6) R. v. Wimbledon JJ., ex p. Derwent, [1953] 1 Q.B. 380; [1953] 1 All E.R. 390; (1953), 51(1) L.G.R. 432; 117 J.P. 113; 97 Sol. Jo. 116, dicta of Lord Goddard, C.J. applied.

Legislation construed:

Bill of Rights (1 Will. & Mar., sess. 2, c.2): The relevant terms of this statute are set out at page 384, lines 8-10.

States of Jersey Law 1966, art. 47: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 378, line 34 - page 379, line 4.

Texts cited:

Bennion, Statutory Interpretation, 1st ed., at xxvii; para. 281, at 590 (1984).

Craies on Statute Law, 7th ed., at 69; at 209-210 (1970).

Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th ed., vol. 44, para. 818, at 496.

Thornton, Legislative Drafting, 3rd ed., at 141 (1987).

Constitutional LawStates of Jerseyprivilege of Statesby States of Jersey Law 1966, art. 47, leave of States required for admission in court of recorded evidence of States' proceedingsStates' proceedings absolutely privileged, notwithstanding broadcasting of debates on radio

In an action against the States of Jersey regarding the validity of a compulsory purchase order, the plaintiffs sought to adduce evidence of a debate in the States.

The plaintiffs sought to rely on evidence regarding proceedings of the States which was to take the form of (a) the oral evidence of a Deputy of the States as to the contents of a debate in the States in which he had taken part; and (b) a tape recording and a transcript of the debate. No leave had been obtained from the States to use this evidence pursuant to the States of Jersey Law 1966, art. 47 and on the court's consideration of the question whether the deputy could properly give oral evidence, it held that he could not.

With regard to the admissibility of the tape recording and the transcript, the plaintiffs submitted that leave of the States was not required since art. 47 merely precluded the giving of evidence by members or officers of the States without leave and did not apply to recordings of States' proceedings; in any case, since debates were broadcast on radio, there was nothing to prevent evidence of such debates being adduced in court. The States opposed these submissions.

The court considered (a) whether it could properly have regard to the heading to art. 47, which read "Evidence of proceedings in the States or any Committee not to be given without leave"; and (b) the fact that the States of Jersey Law 1966 was a codifying statute.

Held, giving the following ruling:

Consideration of the heading to art. 47 was necessary to understand its meaning. The correct principle of interpretation was that a heading could only be used to clarify the meaning of an article if the article were unclear; if, however, the heading were itself unclear, it could not be used. Furthermore, since the States of Jersey Law 1966 was a codifying statute, its language was to be interpreted according to its natural meaning, uninfluenced by the previous state of the law. Applying these principles, it was clear that the purpose of art. 47 was to set out the rule embodied in the heading, namely, that proceedings of the States were absolutely privileged and evidence of such proceedings could not be used without leave. The fact that debates were broadcast did not mean that the States had waived their privilege and since both the tape and the transcript were evidence of States' proceedings and leave to use them had not been obtained, they would be excluded from the evidence (page 379, lines 26-45; page 381, lines 23-27; page 384, line 20 - page 385, line 17).

HAMON, COMMR: We have before us an action by two plaintiffs, Mr. Basil Fraser Burt and his sister, Miss Helen Isobel Burt, who own by inheritance a property, "Kent Lodge," 21 Clarendon Road, St. Helier. The action, commenced by Order of Justice, is brought against the States of Jersey and asks us to rule on a decision taken by the States to authorize the Housing Committee to commence compulsory purchase procedures against the property.

They have in fact done so and the Order of Justice contains an interim injunction (which we will be asked to confirm) which prevents any further movement in the procedural steps towards a compulsory purchase order until we have ruled on the legality of the decision of the States and the notices served thereunder.

There falls to be decided an interlocutory matter. It came about when Advocate Boxall came to call his third witness, Deputy Robin Ernest Richard Rumboll, to the stand...

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7 cases
  • B.F. Burt and H.I. Burt v States of Jersey
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 14 December 1994
    ...of the debate in the States could be admitted, the Royal Court (Hamon, Commr. and Jurats Coutanche and Hamon) held that it could not (1993 JLR 376), but the ruling was reversed by the Court of Appeal (Le Quesne, Neill and Southwell, JJ.A.) in proceedings reported at 1994 JLR 245. The plaint......
  • B.F. Burt and H.I. Burt v States
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 17 January 1996
    ...of the debate in the States could be admitted, the Royal Court (Hamon, Commr. and Jurats Coutanche and Hamon) held that it could not (1993 JLR 376), but that ruling was reversed by the Court of Appeal (Le Quesne, Neill and Southwell, JJ.A.) (1994 JLR 245). The Royal Court subsequently dismi......
  • Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Ltd and Barclays Wealth Fund Managers (Jersey) Ltd v Equity Trust (Jersey) Ltd and Equity Trust Services Ltd
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 16 May 2013
    ...Pallot for the defendants. Cases cited: (1) Abraham v. Thompson, [1997] CLC 1370; [1997] 4 All E.R. 362, considered. (2) Burt v. States, 1993 JLR 376, referred to. (3) Faryab v. Smyth, 1998 WL 1042306, applied. (4) Grovewood Holdings Plc v. James Capel & Co. Ltd., [1995] Ch. 80; [1995] 2 W.......
  • D
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 27 May 2011
    ...(Jersey) Law 2002. Re B [2010] JRC 150 . Children Rules 2005. Re K (Care Proceedings) (Care Plan) [2008] 1 FLR 1 . B.F. Burt and H.I. Burt v States of Jersey [1993] JLR 376 . Bank of England v Vagliano Bros [1891] A.C. 107 . Appeal against order of Royal Court of 14 February, 2001, or......
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