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Jersey institutes indefinite detention without charge, then withdraws it.

Posted by James Hammerton @ 10:36 pm on 20 June, 2008.
Categories democracy and the rule of law, British politics.
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Update: Original article was posted before I’d read the comments on the Samizdata page indicating that the order was withdrawn and that the newspaper is the Jersey Evening Post (not the Telegraph as originally posted).

[Hat tip: Samizdata]

From the Jersey Evening Post:

THE Home Affairs Minister has sent shock waves through the legal profession by authorising the indefinite detention of suspects without charge.

On 5 June, Senator Wendy Kinnard amended the criminal code that had limited pre-charge detention to 36 hours.

She did so under delegated powers enjoyed by the minister under the terms of the Police Procedures and Criminal Evidence (Jersey) Law.

However, that same law states that before such changes to codes are made, the minister is required to publish a draft of the changes and consult interested parties. She did neither of these things – a failure that has left the Island’s criminal lawyers stunned.

The new code came into force on Thursday, but no statement was released to either the media or the legal profession.

However later on the order was withdrawn:

AN order which would have allowed the police to detain suspects indefinitely without charge has been withdrawn.

Acting Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur said that the amendment, approved by Home Affairs Minister Wendy Kinnard, was badly worded and it was never intended that it should allow indefinite detention.

I think this shows the wisdom of replacing rule by decree with parliamentary democracy…

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