Syvret v Bailhache and Hamon

JurisdictionJersey
CourtRoyal Court
JudgeBeloff, Commr.:
Judgment Date28 April 1998
Date28 April 1998
ROYAL COURT
Beloff, Commr.:

P.C. Sinel for the plaintiff;

M.C. St. J. Birt, Q.C., Attorney General, for the defendants.

Cases cited:

(1) Att. Gen. (Duchy of Lancaster) v. London & N.W. Ry. Co., [1892] 3 Ch. 274; (1892), 67 L.T. 810; 62 L.J. Ch. 271; 2 R. 84.

(2) Barton v. Taylor (1886), 11 App. Cas. 197; 55 L.T. 158; 2 T.L.R. 382; 55 L.J.P.C. 1, dicta of the Earl of Selborne applied.

(3) Bradlaugh v. Gossett (1884), 12 Q.B.D. 271; 50 L.T. 620; 53 L.J.Q.B. 209; 32 W.R. 552, dicta of Lord Coleridge, C.J. and Stephen, J. applied.

(4) British Ry. Bd. v. Pickin, [1974] A.C. 765; [1974] 1 All E.R. 609; (1974), 118 Sol. Jo. 134.

(5) Burdett v. Abbot (1811), 14 East 1; 104 E.R. 501, dicta of Lord Ellenborough applied.

(6) Cooper, In re, 1992 JLR 215.

(7) Cooper v. Resch (formerly Cooper), 1987-88 JLR 428.

(8) Corby v. Le Main, 1982 J.J. 157, followed.

(9) Demicoli v. Malta (1991), 14 E.H.R.R. 47, considered.

(10) Doyle v. Falconer (1866), L.R. 1 P.C. 328; 16 E.R. 293; 4 Moo. P.C.C.N.S. 203; 36 L.J.P.C. 33; 15 W.R. 366, dicta of Sir James Colvile considered.

(11) Ewing, Ex p., [1991] 1 W.L.R. 388, followed.

(12) Ewing (No. 2), Ex p., [1994] 1 W.L.R. 1553, followed.

(13) Finance & Econ. Cttee. v. Bastion Offshore Trust Co. Ltd., 1994 JLR 370.

(14) Hubbuck & Sons Ltd. v. Wilkinson, Heywood & Clarke Ltd., [1899] 1 Q.B. 86; [1895-99] All E.R. Rep. 244; (1898), 79 L.T. 429; 15 T.L.R. 29; 68 L.J.Q.B. 34; 43 Sol. Jo. 41.

(15) Kielley v. Carson (1842), 4 Moo. P.C.C. 63; 13 E.R. 225, dicta of Parke, B. considered.

(16) McGuinness's Application, Re, [1997] N.I. 359, dicta of Kerr, J. applied.

(17) Maha v. Kipo, [1996] 2 LRC 328, dicta of Woods, J. applied.

(18) Mauger (ne Kenny) v. Batty, 1995 JLR N-8.

(19) New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Speaker of House of Assembly, Nova Scotia; sub nom. Speaker of House of Assembly v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp.; sub nom. Donoghoe v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (1993), 100 DLR (4th) 212; [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319; 146 N.R. 161; 118 N.S.R. (2d) 181; 327 A.P.R. 181, dicta of Lamer, C.J.C. and McLachlin, J. applied.

(20) Nicolle, Ex p. (1827), 5 Ordres du Conseil 334, applied.

(21) Planning & Environment Cttee. v. Lesquende Ltd., 1998 JLR 1.

(22) Prebble v. Television New Zealand Ltd., [1995] 1 A.C. 321 ([1994] UKPC 4); [1994] 3 All E.R. 407; (1994), 138 Sol. Jo. (L.B.) 175, dicta of Lord Browne-Wilkinson applied.

(23) R. v. Employment Secy., ex p. Equal Opportunities Commn., [1995] 1 A.C. 1; [1994] 1 All E.R. 910; [1994] I.C.R. 317; [1994] I.R.L.R. 176; [1994] C.O.D. 301; (1994), 92 L.G.R. 360; 138 Sol. Jo. (L.B.) 84.

(24) R. v. H.M. Treasury, ex p. Smedley, [1985] Q.B. 657; [1985] 1 All E.R. 589; 1985 FLR 180; [1985] 1 C.M.L.R. 665; (1984), 129 Sol. Jo. 48, dictum of Donaldson, M.R. considered.

(25) R. v. Home Secy., ex p. Brind, [1991] 1 A.C. 696; (1991), 3 Admin. L.R. 461; 135 Sol. Jo. 250; sub nom. Brind v. Home Secy., [1991] 1 All E.R. 720, dictum of Lord Bridge considered.

(26) R. v. Parliamentary Commr. for Standards, ex p. Al Fayed, High Ct., April 24th, 1997, unreported; on appeal, [1998] 1 W.L.R. 669; [1998] 1 All E.R. 93, considered.

(27) Sanft v. Fotofili, [1987] LRC (Const) 247, dicta of Martin, J. applied.

(28) Siale v. Fotofili, [1987] LRC (Const) 240, dicta of Martin, J. applied.

(29) Snooks v. Att. Gen., 1997 JLR 253, considered.

(30) Stephens (ne Baureiss) v. Stephens, 1989 JLR 284.

(31) Stockdale v. Hansard (1839), 9 Ad. & El. 1; 112 E.R. 1112, dicta of Lord Denman, C.J. applied.

(32) Waldron, Ex p., [1986] Q.B. 824; (1985), 129 Sol. Jo. 892, considered.

(33) Williams & Humbert Ltd. v. W. & H. Trade Marks (Jersey) Ltd., [1986] A.C. 368; [1986] 1 All E.R. 129; (1985), 150 Sol. Jo. 37, observations of Lord Templeman considered.

(34) X (Minors) v. Bedfordshire C.C., [1995] 2 A.C. 633; [1995] 3 All E.R. 353; [1995] 2 FLR 276; [1995] 3 F.C.R. 337; (1995), 25 Fam. Law 537; 7 Admin. L.R. 705.

Additional cases cited by counsel:

Counsel of Civil Serv. Unions v. Minister for Civil Serv., [1985] A.C. 374.

Godfray, Ex p. (1833), 5 Ordres du Conseil 477.

Legislation construed:

Standing Orders of the States of Jersey (R. & O. 4858): The relevant terms of the Standing Orders are set out at page 134, line 24 - page 136, line 23.

States of Jersey Law 1966, art. 1(1): The relevant terms of this paragraph are set out at page 133, lines 31-33.

art. 3: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 133, lines 34-42.

art. 27(1): The relevant terms of this paragraph are set out at page 133, line 43 - page 134, line 2.

art. 37: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 134, lines 5-10.

art. 55: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 134, lines 13-16.

art. 59: The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 134, lines 18-21.

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome, November 4th, 1950; UK Treaty Series 71 (1953)), art. 10(2): The relevant terms of this article are set out at page 170, lines 38-41.

Texts cited:

Anson's Law & Custom of the Constitution, 5th ed., at 196 (1922).

Bennion, Statutory Interpretation, 3rd ed., at 465-466 (1997).

Bois, A Constitutional History of Jersey, para. 6/2, at 54 (1970).

Bradley & Ewing, Constitutional & Administrative Law, 11th ed., at 231 (1993).

Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 21st ed., at 151; at 152; at 154; at 154-155 (1989).

Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th ed., vol. 34 (1997 Reissue), para. 1004, at 553-554; vol. 45, para.1201, at 558.

Holdsworth, A History of English Law, vol. 10, at 539 (1938).

Le Quesne, Constitutional History of Jersey, at 18-19; at 100; at 102 (1856).

Report of the Committee of the Privy Council on Proposed Reforms in the Channel Islands (Cmnd. 7074), at 6-7 (1947).

Supreme Court Practice 1997, vol. 1, para. 18/19/6, at 329; para. 18/19/11(4), at 330; para. 18/19/19, at 334.

Constitutional LawStates of Jerseyprivilege of StatesStates have privileges necessary to allow them to function as legislative assembly, including regulation of own internal proceedings, e.g. suspension of member for misconductcourt may determine whether sanction available but not inquire into its exercise, proper interpretation of Standing Orders, whether misconduct established or whether sanction used in good faith or in accordance with natural justice

Constitutional LawStates of Jerseypowers of BailiffBailiff or Deputy Bailiff's common law powers when presiding over States preserved by States of Jersey Law 1966, art. 59powers include control over internal proceedings of States

Constitutional LawStates of Jerseyimmunity of membersmembers of States immune from civil suit regarding "any matter or thing" brought by them in States, under States of Jersey Law 1966, art. 37"civil proceedings" include application for judicial review

The plaintiff applied for judicial review of the defendants' decision to take disciplinary action against him in the States.

The plaintiff, a Senator of the States of Jersey, allegedly implied during a States debate that a fellow Senator had acted with improper motives in bringing forward some proposed legislation then under discussion. The Bailiff, the first defendant, asked the plaintiff to withdraw or substantiate his remarks. The plaintiff's response did not, according to the defendants, substantiate his remarks and he was told that at the next sitting of the States, he would have to withdraw them.

At that sitting, the second defendant, the Deputy Bailiff, who was presiding, summarized the matter and on the plaintiff's failure to withdraw the comments, held that his conduct had been "grossly disorderly" and accordingly suspended him from sitting for the remainder of the session, under Standing Order 30(3).

When the plaintiff continued to refuse to withdraw his comments but instead attempted to justify them, the first defendant put the matter to the States, refusing to allow debate, purportedly under his prerogative powers at common law rather than under the Standing Orders. The States voted in favour of a further suspension of the plaintiff. When the plaintiff was readmitted and again refused to withdraw the remarks, his suspension was lifted but the States passed a motion of censure.

The plaintiff sought to quash the defendant's and the States' decisions and in his Order of Justice alleged, inter alia, that the decisions were ultra vires, in breach of natural justice and made in bad faith.

The defendants then made the present application for the plaintiff's action to be struck out, submitting, inter alia, that (a) their actions in the States were not amenable to review, because as a matter of common law, the regulation of the internal proceedings of a legislative assembly were not justiciable in the courts; (b) review was also precluded by art. 37 of the States of Jersey Law 1966, which stated: "No civil ... proceedings may be instituted against any member of the States ... by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, bill, proposition or otherwise"; and by art. 55: "No person shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise of any power conferred on or vested in him by or under this Part of the Law"; (c) this immunity extended to the exercise by the defendants of their prerogative powers to enforce discipline in the States (which included the power to suspend members for disorderly conduct), explicitly retained by the 1966 Law, which in its long title stated that its intention was "to declare and define the powers, privileges and immunities of the States"; (d) furthermore, those powers were preserved by art. 59 of the Law, which provided that "nothing in this Law shall prejudice or affect the prerogatives, rights and privileges attaching to the office of ... Bailiff [or] Deputy Bailiff"; and (e) the defendants were not in any case accountable for the decisions of the...

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2 cases
  • Syvret v Chief Minister, States Employment Board, States of Jersey and AG
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 20 June 2011
    ... Yuen Kun Yeu v. Attorney-General of Hong Kong [1988] AC 175 . Hill v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [1989] AC 53 . Syvret v. Bailhache and Hamon [1998] JLR 128 . Hoani Te Heuheu Tukino v. Aotea District Maori Land Board [1941] AC 308 . British Railways Board v. Pickin [1974......
  • Cooper v Lieutenant Governor
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 7 June 2001
    ...1 W.L.R. 1396; [1956] 3 All E.R. 513, applied. Additional cases cited by counsel: Cooper v. Resch, 1987-88 JLR 428. Syvret v. Bailhache, 1998 JLR 128. Legislation construed: Royal Court (Jersey) Law, 1948, art. 11(1)(a): The relevant terms of this sub-paragraph are set out at para. 6. art. ......

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