Sunday, April 6, 2014

Alan Collins English Solicitor - Advocate and the Jersey Care Inquiry April 2014

Alan Collins (above) was recorded on 3 April following the first public meeting of the Jersey Care Inquiry.
Those who attended heard an impressive sounding introduction from Frances Oldham QC the Chair and received bundles of documents on protocols and procedures to study and the Terms of Reference appeared superficially comprehensive....but no questions were allowed and the QC with her two  fellow panellists made a speedy departure from the hall.
Left behind to explain more to the audience - which included several SOJ Police Officers   - were the UK  Counsels and Solicitors who will do much of the "legal" work.
These four (with one absent on the day) claimed to be experienced in running such as the "Bloody Sunday" Irish Inquiry and helpfully engaged in a Q and A session around the table with some of the more interested parties - including "bloggers".

But for people so widely experienced the four seemed to have a rather limited grasp of the scale of the problem in mounting an Inquiry which spans the years from 1945 to date in this strange little community and potential flaws soon became apparent....

Time will tell of course but it also became apparent that this may be a commodity in short supply and that those who want the TOR to be fully explored may yet have to do much of the investigative work themselves.
If research is going to be undertaken it was not obvious who might be employed on this team to do it.
Unless somebody out there has an enormous ready prepared file of clippings from the JEP for example and/or extracts of court cases since the war, then there are likely to be many gaps in the basic record to work from....

And if  witnesses and those with knowledge are to be alerted and located from around the world it must also be obvious that an Inquiry Web Page alone will hardly find them...

So on reflection - not a very impressive start - and some of these matters are discussed in the interview with Alan Collins who has represented 59 Jersey "survivors" in the Compensation scheme arising from Haut de la Garenne etc abuses.
His role in this Inquiry is not at all clear and there are many obscure aspects of the procedures to be followed that might have been better discussed and agreed in public before these rules were laid down.

Were these modelled on a previous Inquiry somewhere else? Yes confirmed the four...all the more worrying thought yours truly....

Alan Collins (formerly with Pannone) is now with  lawyers Slater & Gordon (twitter @ slatergordon or AlanCollins@abuselaw) in the UK  and is a Specialist Child Abuse Solicitor.
Previous interviews with him have been posted on this blog on 23 August 2013, 15 December 2012 and 16 August 2012.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry can be contacted at POB 551, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 8XN
Freephone from Jersey 0800 735 0100


  1. Excellent interview, and Alan Collin's concerns are 'spot on'.
    I am very concerned too with the restrictive format of what we have seen so far, and I also understand that this Inquiry has been based on the Irish Inquiry. Time will tell.........

  2. It has taken four years to get to where we are, that four years was spent planning that we never getting any further!