Deputy says appeal to be filed this week

THE States member at the centre of the social media trolling debacle has confirmed he will be filing his appeal against expulsion this week.

Deputy Chris Le Tissier. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29490410)
Deputy Chris Le Tissier. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29490410)

The lawyer acting for Deputy Chris Le Tissier had been waiting for the States to pass on documents and information related to the case.

At the end of March a code of conduct panel recommended the toughest sanction be imposed on Deputy Le Tissier – removal from office.

The case has highlighted some shortcomings in the code of conduct processes, in particular that there is no deadline by which appeals have to be lodged.

Deputy Carl Meerveld, president of the States’ Assembly & Constitution Committee, said the issue underlined the need for a commissioner of standards, a move approved by the States last year.

‘People have been concerned for some time about issues with the code of conduct process, not with the code of conduct panel itself, but the way the process was structured.

‘I think the shortcomings were already seen in the last term, and that’s why the decision was made to move to the commissioner of standards, but this most recent incident has highlighted exactly why that decision was made and why it needs to be pursued.’

Civil servants from Sacc are speaking to Jersey States to see if a deal can be struck so that Guernsey can share their commissioner for standards.

That official would also investigate allegations of abuse of privilege, replacing the privileges panel.

Deputy Meerveld anticipated that it would not be a drain on States’ finances.

‘We actually think the cost could be relatively low.

‘The indication from the officers is that it could possibly be funded out of existing court revenues because it would be an extension of the court rather than the States itself. It would be an independent body.

‘It would reduce costs, and if you’re trying to get someone who is not resident in the island but has understanding of the unique environment here, then having somebody who is already providing a service to Jersey would be logical to look at, so we could share the skill set and mindset that’s already there.

‘By having a commissioner of standards, particularly one that’s not resident in Guernsey, you get away from the potential conflicts of interest, or accusations of a conflict of interest, and you also get somebody who comes from a judicial background who is likely to bring a degree of professionalism and consistency in their findings as well.’

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