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JERSEY (Channel Islands)
Judicial CP - November 1969


The Sunday Times, London, 30 November 1969

Jersey ends birching

Birching will be abolished soon on the Channel Island of Jersey. And although the use of the birch will remain legal for a time, the Island's Solicitor-General Mr Vernon Tomes said yesterday that it will never be used again.

The birch was last used in Jersey three years ago but Mr Tomes said it could no longer be carried out immediately -- "the essence of its use as a deterrent" -- because of the eight-day appeal law.

"To use it only after the appeal had been decided would be wrong in our view," he said.

Parents of the last two youths birched on Jersey could have summoned the magistrates for assault because the sentences were carried out without them being told of the right of appeal, said Mr Tomes. "When the Island laws are next tidied up, birching as a punishment will be removed from the Statute Book altogether," he added.

Neighbouring Guernsey had its last birching -- on a 16-year-old boy -- last year. Although there have been no official discussions yet about abolition, the Island's Parliament is expected to debate the question shortly. Guernsey laws also cover Alderney.

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