Updated 24 July 2017
Words you may need to know
Originate – to start from
Precedent – an earlier decision
Binding – obligatory
Statute Law - law that is made by the Island’s States Assembly and approved by the Privy Council in London and then registered in the Royal Court
Supplement – something that adds to something else
Disorderly behaviour - behaviour that is not the sort of behaviour that most people would expect to see eg swearing; shouting
Urinating in a public place - using the outdoors or public areas as a toilet
Breach of the Peace - where someone causes a disturbance or noise which affects the normal behaviour or amount of noise in a place
Larceny – theft, stealing someone’s belongings
Malicious – when something is deliberately done with bad intent; wicked
Civil action - a legal matter that is not a criminal law matter eg debt; compensation; libel
Compensation – something that is given to help make up for a loss ( usually money)
Penalty - punishment
Harassment - behaviour that worries or troubles someone
Judgement - here, the decision of a judge
Dwelling – here, a home or living accommodation
Stalking - to deliberately follow someone
Restrain – to hold something back or keep under control
Note: anyone wanting legal advice on any of the matters referred to in this page should ask a lawyer for advice. The wording of the laws that are mentioned should be looked at for the full content and meaning of the law.
Customary or common law originates from customs which were shaped and interpreted by rulings in the courts. These rulings established precedents that had to be followed by the courts hearing subsequent cases unless the precedents themselves were overturned by a more senior court.
The practice whereby decisions were recorded and considered binding in later cases, forms the basis of the system of case law that forms an important part of our current legal system.
In many cases common law is heavily relied upon and forms the backbone of criminal offences. In recent years, statute laws have been passed to supplement the common law. It is now accepted that the courts cannot introduce new common law offences. Examples of common law offences include:-
· Drunk and Disorderly
· Breach of the Peace
· Malicious damage
and see ‘Public order Offences’ below.
Note: Charites are allowed to hold street collections if they have a permit from the Bailiff giving them permission to do so.
Civil judgements are the result of civil actions brought by private individuals or companies, eg debt, compensation, libel etc. These judgements do not appear on the Police National Computer, do not constitute a criminal offence and will not appear as part of a person's criminal record.
Parish Hall cautions and fines
Written or verbal Parish Hall cautions and fines are not criminal convictions and are therefore not covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Jersey) Law 2001. Please see Past Convictions - Rehabilitation periods ( 4.32.3.L1 ).
Any penalty imposed at a Parish Hall enquiry is known as a ‘sanction’ and will be called ‘a sanction’ on a person's police record.
Public Order Offences
In Jersey public order offences are usually dealt with by using Common Law powers, especially the offences of being:-
- Drunk and Disorderly
- Committing a Public Nuisance (eg urinating in a public place)
- Causing a Breach of the Peace or
- Acting in a manner likely to cause a Breach of the Peace.
However, public order offences also exist within Statute Law, e.g.
- Interfering with any Post Office letter box (See Article 63 Postal Services (Jersey) Law 2004)
- Interfering with any telephone kiosk (See Article 53 Telecommunications (Jersey) Law, 2002)
- Improper use of roads, parks and beaches (see laws on the Policing of the Roads/Parks and Beaches)
- Anyone sending a message by phone of a really offensive, filthy, indecent or threatening nature. ( See Article 51(1) Telecommunications (Jersey) Law, 2002)
- Anyone who uses a telephone to send a false message to cause bother, upset or needless worry to someone else commits an offence. (See Article 51(4) Telecommunications (Jersey) Law, 2002)
Crime [Disorderly Conduct and Harassment] [Jersey] Law 2008
This is another statute that creates public order offences. For full details of the offences, defences and punishments under the law see:
It is an offence under Article 2 of this Law to use threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or to behave in a disorderly way if there is a person who is close enough to hear, or see, the behaviour and who is likely to be frightened or upset by the words or behaviour.
An offence under Article 2(1) may be committed in a public place eg a park or in a private place, including a dwelling (except if the words or behaviour are used by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside the dwelling).
However, a person only commits an offence if they intend or want their behaviour to be disorderly, threatening or abusive, or if they know that their behaviour may be disorderly, threatening or abusive.
The Law also makes it an offence for somebody to behave in a way that harasses another person when they know or ought to know, that such behaviour would amount to harassment.
Article 5 of the Law enables a restraining order to be made against a person convicted of the offence of harassment.
Offences against the police: States of Jersey Police Force Law 2012
Article 29 makes it an offence :
- for someone to try to pretend to be a Police Officer, OR to do anything or say anything which is likely to falsely suggest that they are a Police Officer. (See Article 29(1))
Note: 'Police Officer' means a member of the States of Jersey Police and the Honorary Police.
- for anyone who is not a Police Officer to wear any Police uniform or what looks like a Police Uniform so as to look like a Police Officer with the intention of misleading. (See Article 29(2))
- for anyone who is not a Police Officer, to have any article of Police uniform, unless they can prove that they got it in a lawful way and for a lawful purpose. (See Article 29(3))
Article 30 makes it an offence to:
- waste police time eg by making a false claim of an offence to the Police (See Article 30)
- make a false statement of danger to someone which might cause upset eg a hoax bomb call
- make a false report which makes it look as if someone has some information that might be useful to the police in an enquiry.