Jersey Evening Post Ltd v His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Japer Al-Thani (and on behalf of the adult beneficiaries of the Y Trust, the H Trust and the Y No. 2 Trust)

JurisdictionJersey
CourtRoyal Court
JudgeBailiff
Judgment Date02 December 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] JRC 227
Date02 December 2002

[2002] JRC 227

ROYAL COURT

(Samedi)

Before:

Sir Philip Bailhache, Bailiff, and Jurats de Veulle and Allo

Between
Jersey Evening Post Limited
Representor
and
His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Japer Al-Thani (and on behalf of the adult beneficiaries of the Y Trust, the H Trust and the Y No. 2 Trust)
First Respondent

and

David Fisher Le Quesne, Advocate (on behalf of the minor and unborn beneficiaries of the said Trusts)
Second Respondent

and

Standard Chartered Grindlays Trust Corporation (Jersey) Limited
Third Respondent

and

The State of Qatar
Fourth Respondent

and

Her Majesty's Attorney General
Fifth Respondent

Advocate N. M. Santos-Costa for the Representor;

Advocate F. B. Robertson for First Respondent;

Advocate M.J. Thompson for the Third Respondent;

Advocate J.D. Kelleher for the Fourth Respondent;

Advocate C.E. Whelan for the Fifth Respondent.

Authorities.

Re VGM Holdings Ltd. [1941] 3 All ER 417.

The Bank v A Ltd. and Others, (23rd June 2000) Chancery Division, unreported.

R v Legal Aid Board, ex p Kaim Todner [1999] QB 966.

Sir Jack Jacob's Hamlyn Lecture: The Fabric of English Civil Justice (1987): pp. 22–23.

Scott v Scott [1913] AC 417.

G v A (2000) JLR 56.

Barclays Private Bank & Trust Ltd v Bhander (15th July, 1998) Jersey Unreported; [1998/152].

Hodgson v Imperial Tobacco Ltd (1998) 1 WLR 1056.

Royal Court Rules 1992: Rule 13/1.

Re Rabiotti 1989 Settlement (2000) JLR 173.

Re a Settlement (1994) JLR 139.

In re the Esteem Settlement (1995) JLR 266.

Re S Settlement (24th July, 2001) Jersey Unreported; [2001/154].

The Public Trustee v Cooper, (20th December 1999) Unreported Judgment of the High Court of England and Wales.

European Convention on Human Rights: Article 6(1); 10.

Gio Services Ltd. v Liverpool and London Ltd. [1999] 1 WLR 984.

AG v Leveller Magazine Ltd. [1997] AC 440.

Buttes Gas and Oil Co. and another v Hammer [1981] QB 223.

AG for the United Kingdom v Wellington Newspapers Ltd. [1988] 1 NZLR 129.

In re Rosedale Investments (1995) JLR 123 SC.

Kelly v BBC [2001] Fam 59 NMSC.

Derbyshire CC v Times Newspapers [1993] AC 534 NMSC.

R v Chief Registrar ex p New Cross Soc [1984] QB 227 NMSC.

Re Crook [1992] 2 All ER 687 NMSC.

Contempt of Court Act 1981 section 4 NMSC.

R v Horsham Justices ex p Farquharson [1982] QB 762 NMSC.

Practice Direction (Contempt) [1982] 1 WLR 1475 NMSC.

Re Central Television PLC [1991] 1 All ER 347 NMSC.

AG v Guardian Newspapers [1990] AC 109 JDK/NMSC.

SCP 1999, pages 1660–1 NMSC.

Young v AG (22nd January 1999) Jersey Unreported C of A. [1999/13]

Council of Civil Service Unions and ors v Minister for the Civil Service [HL] [1985] AC 374.

Glazebrook v Housing Committee [2000] JLR 301 FBR.

Abacus v Grupo Torras (15th January 2001) Jersey Unreported [2001/16A] FBR.

Yachia v Levi (26th March 1998) Jersey Unreported [1998/61] FBR.

Federal Trust v Macdonald-Smith and Bermuda Trust (6th April 2001) Guernsey Unreported FBR.

Bank of Scotland v A Ltd [2001] 1 WLR 751 FBR.

Contempt of Court Act 1981 Articles 4, 11.

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Rehman [2001] UKHL 47 NMSC/JDK.

Johnson v Walton [1990] 1 FLR 350 FBR.

AG v Times Newspapers [1974] AC 273 JDK.

Maister v Rind (14th June 1995) Jersey Unreported FBR.

Hodgson v UK Commission decision. App no 11553/85 MJT.

Diennet v France ECHR decision App no 24/1994/472/553 MJT.

Trusts (Jersey) Law, 1984 Articles 25, 47.

Attorney General v Newspaper Publishing PLC and others [1997] 1 WLR 926.

The Commonwealth of Australia v John Fairfax and Sons Limited and others [1980] H.C. of A 147 C.L.R.

Application by the Representor to discharge two orders of the Court: (1) an order of 10th October 2001 directing, inter alia, that the Court should sit in camera until further order to hear a representation of the First Respondent under the Trusts (Jersey) Law, 1984; and (2) an order of 21st November, 2001 that there be no publication in the media of any material or information or report relating to, or connected with, the in camera proceedings.

Bailiff

THE

Introduction
1

This representation raises important matters of principle in relation to the practice and procedure of the Court when sitting to determine an application under Article 47 of the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 (“the Trusts Law”). Jersey Evening Post Limited (“the JEP”) applies to discharge two orders of the Court. The first is an order of 10th October 2001 directing, inter alia, that the Court should sit in camera until further order to hear a representation of His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani (“Sheikh Hamad”) under the Trusts Law. We shall refer to this as “the first order”. The second is an order of 21st November 2001 in the following terms –

“that there be no publication in the media which, for the purpose of this order, shall mean in a programme, service or other communication in whatever form, which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public, of any material or information or report relating to, or connected with, the present in camera proceedings.

And the Court granted the parties liberty to apply”.

We shall refer to this as “the second order”.

2

The second order followed the publication in the Jersey Evening Post of an article headed “Court battle over Qatar millions” describing in broad terms the nature of the in camera proceedings and speculating on some of the arguments being advanced. That article led to a complaint of a possible contempt of court from counsel for the State of Qatar as a result of which the editor of the newspaper and the journalist were invited to attend before the Court. The allegation of contempt was referred to the Attorney General and it is right to add that the Attorney found no grounds for taking any further action. After hearing counsel for the parties and (to a limited extent because the principal submissions were made in camera) Mr. Costa for the JEP, the Court made the second order containing the reporting restrictions referred to above. Liberty to apply was given and, pursuant thereto, the JEP brought this representation on 11th January 2002. Advocate Le Quesne, the second respondent, sought and was granted leave to withdraw, and has played no part in these proceedings.

Procedural history
3

This hearing was held in open court although, without formal objection from counsel for the JEP, many of the submissions made during the course of it were made in camera in the absence of Mr. Costa and his client. At an earlier stage Mr. Costa had complained that the JEP was not aware of the identities of the parties and their respective advocates. Despite some submissions from counsel for some of the other parties that the Court should not confirm in its judgment speculative comment published in the Jersey Evening Post and some other newspapers, we think that the following brief synopsis of the procedural history can be stated without unfairness to anyone. Counsel for Sheikh Hamad consented to the identification of his client, as did counsel for Standard Chartered Grindlays Trust Corporation (Jersey) Limited (“the trustee”). Sheikh Hamad is a member of the ruling family of the State of Qatar and currently holds the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs. The involvement of the State of Qatar is already widely known. The trusts in question are known as the Yaheeb Trust, the Havana Trust and the Yaheeb No. 2 Trust. We refer to them collectively as “the Trusts”.

4

In May 2001 an application was made to the Court by Sheikh Hamad pursuant to Article 47 of the Trusts Law. It was made in camera. The trustee, Advocate D.F. Le Quesne as guardian ad litem for the unborn and minor beneficiaries of the trusts, and the State of Qatar were convened to the hearing of that application. After hearing submissions the Court declared that the trustee held the assets of the trusts for the beneficiaries named therein respectively and for no other party or parties. That judgment was also given in camera.

5

On 6th July 2001, a second representation was made by Sheikh Hamad to which all the parties to the May 2001 representation but in addition the Attorney General were convened. Between Monday 19th November and Friday 23rd November argument took place on a preliminary application of the Attorney General. On 14th December 2001 judgment was delivered.

6

On 21st May 2002 counsel for Sheikh Hamad wrote to the Judicial Greffier pursuant to Rule 6/24 of the Royal Court Rules 1992 seeking to discontinue both the proceedings instituted by the second representation (“the substantive trust proceedings”) and appeals against the Court's order of 14th December 2001. A consent order was issued by the Greffier Substitute on 23rd May 2002. The original proceedings are now therefore at an end.

7

It is to be noted that the JEP was not informed of this discontinuance despite a direction of the Bailiff given on 28th March 2002 that “pending resolution of the issues raised in the representation, the Judicial Greffier will give the legal advisers for [the JEP] five clear days' written notice of the Court's next sitting on the substantive trust proceedings”. The discontinuance was however followed by a press release issued on behalf of the Attorney General on 28th May 2002 with the agreement of the legal advisers of Sheikh Hamad. That press release indicated that a criminal investigation into the conduct of Sheikh Hamad was at an end and that the Sheikh had voluntarily paid £6 million towards the costs of the investigation into the affairs of his three Jersey trusts.

Is the Court functus officio?
8

In the meantime preparations for the trial of this representation were afoot. The discontinuance of the substantive trust proceedings however led counsel for Sheikh Hamad to mount an argument that the Court was functus officio which was advanced at hearings on 30th September and 1st...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • M v W
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 4 April 2019
    ...[2001] JRC 154 Public Trustee v Cooper, an unreported decision of Hart J dated 20th December 1999 Jersey Evening Post Limited v Al Thani [2002] JRC 227 G v A [2000] JLR 56. HSBC Trustee (CI) Limited v Kwong and others [2018] JRC 051A Bartlett v Barclays Bank Trust Co Limited (No.2) [1980] ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT