Draft Commissioner for Children and Young People (Jersey) Law 201-
Launch date: 01/03/2019
Review status: Call for evidence
What is the review about?
Recommendation one of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) set out that the States of Jersey should appoint a Children's Commissioner in order to advocate for the rights of children and young people in the Island.
In response to the IJCI (P.108/2017) the Government undertook a recruitment process for the role of Children's Commissioner. Subsequently interviews were held with involvement from a group of young people and Deborah McMillan was appointed to the role in January 2018.
It was made clear in the IJCI report that the post of Children's Commissioner should be completely independent to the States of Jersey and have the role underpinned by legislation ensuring this independence. Since her appointment the Commissioner has therefore been operating in shadow form with no statutory powers. During 2018, significant work has been undertaken to develop the legislation which has now been lodged for debate on the States Assembly on 26th March 2019.
Care of Children in Jersey Review Panel is conducting a review of Article 8 of the draft Law (provision of information to the Commissioner) which sets out the type of information that the Commissioner can request in order to carry their duties. The Panel wants to find out whether the powers the Commissioner would have to request information under the draft Law are sufficient to carry out her duties effectively.
The Review Panel has written to the Children's Commissioner, Children's Commissioners in other jurisdictions, academics specialising in children's rights and local organisations working with children to find out their views on Article 8. It will then consider the evidence it receives before reporting back to the States Assembly.
Terms of reference
- Identify and examine whether the Commissioners powers to request information (as set out in Artilce 8 of the draft Law) are in keeping with the recommendations made by the Independenent Jersey Care Inquiry
- Examine and compare the powers of the Commissioner to request information in relation to similar legislation in other jurisdictions
- To consult with the Children's Commissioner and her team to establish whether the powers as set out in Article 8 will allow her to effectviely discharge her duties
- Consult with academics specialising in children's rights law and policy to gather professionally informed views on Article 8