States Meeting Summary 1-3 March
3rd March 2022
To begin this week's States Meeting, the Bailiff paid tribute to, and the States Assembly held a minute's silence for, the late former Connétable of St. Mary, Edwin Le Gresley Godel.
Oral questions with notice
Non-executive States Members asked Ministers oral questions with notice for two hours and 20 minutes. See what questions were asked by skipping to page 10 of the Order Paper.
Oral questions without notice
After questions with notice, non-executive States Members asked the following Ministers questions without notice for 45 minutes (15 minutes each):
- The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel
- The Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy Russell Labey
- The Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham (in the Chief Minister's absence)
The Minister for Health and Social Services made a statement regarding the implementation of the proposition, 'Re-opening of Samarès Ward' and the Minister for External Relations and Financial Services made a statement regarding the situation in Ukraine.
The States Assembly agreed to reduce the minimum lodging period for Deputy Louise Doublet's proposition and Deputy Mike Higgins' proposition, so that they could be debated this week. The Assembly also voted to take Deputy Higgins' proposition as the first item for public business.
Condemnation of Russian invasion and support for Ukraine
Deputy Higgins asked the States Assembly to condemn the Russian government's invasion of Ukraine and to request that the Council of Ministers report on the steps taken by the Government of Jersey to provide support and deliver aid to Ukraine at the next States Meeting.
All 40 present Members of the States Assembly voted to APPROVE Deputy Mike Higgins' proposition.
Adoption of the new Canons of the Church of England
The Assistant Chief Minister asked the Assembly to adopt the proposed new Canons of the Church of England in Jersey which remain the same in principle but, amongst other changes, allow for the Bishop of Salisbury to be the Bishop in Jersey.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition. 33 Members voted in favour and four voted against.
Jersey's attachment to the Diocese of Salisbury
To begin today's States Meeting, the Assistant Chief Minister proposed to change the Law as a consequence of Jersey attaching to the Diocese of Salisbury instead of the Diocese of Winchester, as it has been since the 16th Century.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition. 37 States Members voted in favour and two abstained.
States Members' Code of Conduct
The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) proposed changes to States Members' Code of Conduct. Amongst nine amendments, some of the changes include narrowing the definition of States Members' family members in relation to the registration of interests, allowing Members with a direct financial interest to contribute to but not vote in a debate, and requiring Members to declare if they earn over 25% of their annual income from other employment or land.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition, as amended by PPC.
Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend
The Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, proposed to mark Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a four-day bank holiday weekend.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition, which means that the 20 May bank holiday will move to 2 June in addition to an extra bank holiday being held on 3 June. All 44 present Members voted in favour.
Changes to the Law relating to marriage and civil status
The Minister for Home Affairs proposed amendments to the Marriage and Civil Status Law. Such changes include making a marriage illegal worldwide if one of the parties is domiciled in Jersey and one is under 18, abolishing the law which states that a wife's domicile is her husband's, and shortening the period that a child can remain nameless for from one year to three months.
All 45 present Members voted to APPROVE the proposition.
Changes to the Law relating to civil partnerships
The Minister for Home Affairs proposed amendments to the Civil Partnership Law. Such changes include making civil partnerships open to opposite-sex couples, allowing for existing marriages to be converted into civil partnerships, and raising the minimum age to enter into a civil partnership from 16 to 18.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition. 41 Members voted in favour and one voted against.
Arrangements to assist children in care to live outside of Jersey
The Minister for Children & Education proposed to amend the Law to make arrangements for children under his care to live outside of Jersey.
All 38 present Members of the States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition. This means that children in care who cannot give consent themselves may, with the approval of the Royal Court, be able to live abroad with a parent, guardian, or other suitable person which could include an individual or accommodation.
Online application forms for registering Intellectual Property
The Assistant Minister for External Relations and Financial Services proposed to change Laws relating to Intellectual Property. All 39 present States Members voted to APPROVE the proposition.
This means that people will now be able to register Intellectual Property, such as trademarks, registered designs and patents, using an online form rather than a paper one. It will also help with keeping the forms up to date, for instance by removing the requirement of a married woman to include her maiden surname and the full name of her husband.
States-owned bodies as Living Wage Employees
Senator Sam Mézec asked the States Assembly to request that the Minister for Treasury and Resources, in her capacity as a shareholder representative, urge States-owned bodies to seek accreditation as Living Wage employers by the end of 2022.
All 43 present Members voted to APPROVE the proposition.
Donations to political parties
The Privileges and Procedures Committee proposed to adjust the Law so that political parties are required to declare donations which exceed £500 to the Jersey Electoral Authority (JEA) within four weeks of receiving a donation.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition.
De-registering and preventing the registration of sanctioned ships
The Minister for External Relations & Financial Services proposed to extend Jersey's power to implement UK sanctions against Russia and other countries by preventing the registration of certain ships on the Jersey Register of Ships and requiring the Registrar of Shipping to de-register certain ships in compliance with sanctions restrictions.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the proposition.
Access to the Island for displaced Ukrainians with Jersey relatives
Deputy Jess Perchard asked the Minister for External Relations and Financial Services and the Minister for Home Affairs to liaise with UK authorities to seek that Jersey's definition of "relative" in relation to the immigration of displaced Ukrainians includes extended family and, for the next six months, allow displaced Ukrainians with Jersey relatives immediate access to the Island on an emergency basis for at least one year from their date of arrival.
This was proposed as amended by Deputy Jeremy Maçon who, in addition, requested that Ministers work with UK authorities to arrange for the longer-term settlement of Ukrainians that temporary visas are issued to, to make language services and documentation available for arriving Ukrainians, and for the Council of Ministers to report on the cost implications of these measures.
The States Assembly voted to APPROVE the amended proposition.
The States Assembly has adjourned until Monday 14 March, when the debate on the draft Bridging Island Plan will begin.
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