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Changes to Deputies Code of Conduct

 

Introduction

 

At the 24 January 2024 States meeting, the States Assembly and Constitution Committee proposed changes to the Code of Conduct for States members.

 

Appeals mechanism

 

The primary purpose of SACC’s policy letter was to create a way of appealing against Code of Conduct decisions. Last year a new CI Commissioner for Standards was appointed, replacing the previous Code of Conduct panel. In the process of updating the Reform Law for the new system, the ability to appeal against decisions was left out. Deputies expressed their concern at the loss during the Reform Law debate so SACC promised to come back with an appeals mechanism.

At last week’s States meeting, deputies voted by 36-0 for SACC’s recommendation to appoint a Deputy Commissioner for Standards to hear appeals.

 

Adding definitions of inappropriate behaviour

 

While sorting out appeals, SACC took the opportunity to review and modernise the whole of the Code. The changes were based on the Commissioner’s knowledge of best practice elsewhere. Deputies voted for the proposition to change the code by 36-0 but there was no actual discussion of Code changes during the debate.

The simplest way to understand how the Code has changed is to review the track changes’ version in Appendix 4. CLICK HERE.

 

Some examples of the changes:

 

1.7 Leadership

[WAS: Members shall promote and support these principles by leadership and example].

NOW: Members must exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Point 12

NEW: Members must not engage in unwanted behaviour, harassment, bullying or discrimination.

Definitions

NEW: “bullying” means offensive, intimidating, malicious  or insulting behaviour; or an abuse or misuse of power in a way that intends to undermine, humiliate, criticise unfairly or injure someone, whether through persistent behaviour or a single grossly unacceptable act.  [There are similar detailed definitions of harassment, discrimination and unwanted behaviour].

Of particular note is the addition of this section alongside the definitions:

In interpreting and applying the definitions of bullying, harassment, discrimination and unwanted behaviour

1. the intention of the person complained about is irrelevant

2. the test is whether a reasonable and impartial person would consider the conduct would fall within one of the definitions having regard to the context of the behaviour complained about.

 

Amendments

 

There were no amendments. Debate was short and focused on the appeals mechanism rather than the Code changes.

 

More information

 

Code of Conduct policy letter

 

Screenshots of main changes

 

 

Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

miriam-makeba-SA

Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

jacinda-adern-2

Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

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