Thursday, June 23, 2016

Child care in Jersey - So you think its all over?

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has now ended its consultation and public participation stage.
The Panel of three led by Frances Oldham QC has gone away to spend the rest of the summer and autumn writing their report and we await the outcome with nervous anticipation.....

But if Alan Collins is correct about the lack of a legal basis for most of the "detention" of children in Jersey care homes and other institutions over the decades then Jersey could be facing law suits and compensation claims that will make the Inquiry costs look very small.

The interview below discusses his final submission to the Inquiry on behalf of the Jersey Care Leavers Association and he certainly spelled it out  to the Inquiry Panel.

But, is it really possible that virtually every child sent into Jersey care, or detention since 1945 (ie within the TOR of the Inquiry) has been detained "illegally"?

Is it possible that the entire legal profession of Jersey from the Crown Officers and the Courts to every solicitor and advocate, the Police, so called trained social workers et al have failed to notice the lack of rules of procedure or the rights of appeal?

Alan Collins cited some extreme examples such as a child remanded for 1,272 days and there are many hundreds of such examples to test before a court.
Assuming of course that, like child abuse itself, such cases are not time-barred and that there is a tribunal empowered to consider them.

The questions posed by Alan Collins should be attracting the urgent attention of the Jersey government now and the public needs to be advised of the official response ASAP. This cannot be allowed to remain "in the air" until the Inquiry Panel forms its own view.