Resignation row over legal report

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The call has been made by Deputy Geoff Southern. He wants the publication of the report by legal expert Jonathan Cooper which, it is understood, questions whether the role of Centeniers in the Island’s legal system complies with all aspects of human rights laws. Deputy Hill resigned as chairman of the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel last week. However, he was prevented by the Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache, from making a personal statement in the States explaining the reasons for his resignation. The Cooper report was prepared for the Scrutiny panel and Deputy Hill wanted to publish it. However, he resigned after the other panel members agreed to have a secret meeting with the Attorney General, William Bailhache, to discuss the report. Deputy Hill claims that Mr Bailhache requested that panel adviser Professor Andrew Le Sueur did not attend the meeting. Deputy Hill said the other panel members – St Lawrence Deputy Deidre Mezbourian, St Helier Deputy Shona Pitman and St Mary Deputy Juliette Gallichan – voted to go ahead with the secret meeting despite the objections of Deputy Hill and the professor. As a result, both men subsequently resigned.

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