The Government of Jersey has yesterday (12 May) invited members of the public to submit their comments to its review of access to justice in the Island. The invitation to comment particularly encourages those who have relevant expertise, experience or an interest in access to justice to respond.
Comments should be submitted in writing, via email or post, by Friday 20 June 2014 (see notes for full details). The full terms of reference for the review, as agreed by the States Assembly on 21 January 2014, cover a number of aspects that are known to be of interest, including:
- the current legal aid scheme and alternative approaches;
- public confidence in legal aid in terms of eligibility, human rights compatibility and public expenditure;
- the provision of general advice through to court representation in criminal and civil matters, including family and children proceedings;
- the overall experience of seeking access to justice through the courts, tribunals and parish system;
- the use of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, and tribunals;
- the availability of a high-quality, efficient and independent legal profession, accompanied by an effective system to handle complaints;
- the affordability of access to justice and different models of funding litigation and providing legal representation;
- competition, price, and other market-based factors as they affect affordability, access to justice and the provision of legal aid in Jersey.
The full terms of reference and guidance on how to make a submission can be found online at http://www.gov.je/CrimeJustice/AccessToJusticeReview/Pages/AccessToJusticeReviewInJersey.aspx
The review will consider any suggestions made to improve access to justice in terms of the effect on users of legal services, public funds, the legal profession and the tradition of honorary service in Jersey.
Assistant Chief Minister and chairman of the review panel, Senator Paul Routier, said: “I welcome the opportunity to receive Islanders’ views on this important subject. Our intention has been to take as broad a view as possible of access to justice in the Island and we hope that the comments received will reflect this.”
Members of the review panel are: Senator Paul Routier (Chair); Senator Lyndon Farnham; Connétable Juliette Gallichan; Deputy Montfort Tadier; Deputy John Young.