Tuesday, 14 June 2011
"The Hopes Of An Island Rest With Syvret"
Stuart Syvret In court To Sue States
Former Senator Stuart Syvret was in court again on Monday where he is suing the Chief Minister, the former Attorney General, the States of Jersey and the Employment Board over what he claims was his unfair dismissal as Health Minister in 2007.
Syvret says those people had a duty to support him in that role - and they failed.
At the Royal Court Syvret had to show he had a legal right to claim compensation for losing his job.
He argues civil servants engaged in a conspiracy to cover up child abuse in the island which he was trying to expose - culminating in him being forced out of his job.
The presiding judge, Jonathan Sumption, was brought in because Syvret was adamant that no local judge would meet the test of objectivity. Although most of the morning was spent discussing Syvret's application for Sumption to recuse - in other words excuse - himself from the case due to apparent bias.
The grounds of this bias, according to Stuart Syvret lay in the fact that Sumption is friend and acquaintance of parties with an "interest" in the case - those being Sir Philip Bailhache, who was Bailiff between 1995 and 2009, Mr Michael Birt, the now Bailiff who was Deputy Bailiff from 2000 to 2009, Sir Philip's brother, Mr William Bailhache, who was Attorney General between 2000 and 2009, before becoming Deputy Bailiff and Mr Tim Le Cocq, who succeeded him as Attorney General.
Nevertheless, Jonathan Sumption refused to recuse himself, and the court went on to hear the defendants' application to get the case struck out.
The Solicitor General argued there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the case, and that he was bringing his action too late.
Meanwhile, after much deliberation it became apparent that Syvret's case was actually centered around a claim for damages caused prior to his dismissal as a result of public authorities failing to discharge their duty of care towards him and causing him substantial emotional and psychological harm.
Hence the challenge for Mr Syvret, who represents himself, became to show that he had a legal right to compensation, on the presumption that his facts are true.
The question for Mr Sumption, meanwhile, became much narrower than initially thought. He will now have to determine whether the States do have such a duty of care - in which case it could go to a full trial- if not, the case would be struck out.
A judgement is expected early on Wednesday morning.