What makes Guernsey a little different ?
Guernsey is a British Crown Dependency. Islanders pledge their allegiance to the Crown, but not to the British Government where they are not represented. In 1560, Queen Elizabeth I issued a grand charter confirming Guernsey’s constitutional status quo. The Grand Charter is one of a series of English charters and other documents which have safeguarded Guernsey’s judicial, economic, and administrative autonomy, which it has enjoyed since the Middle Ages. Today it forms the bedrock of the island’s special constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom.
The States of Guernsey is the government of Guernsey, officially called the States of Deliberation. It handles all matters except foreign affairs and defence. The States is made up of:
- A Presiding Officer – the Bailiff (or in his absence the Deputy Bailiff, as Deputy Presiding Officer)
- HM Procureur (non-voting member)
- HM Comptroller (non-voting member)
- 38 People’s Deputies (elected every four years)
- 2 Representatives of the States of Alderney (chosen from the 10 members of the States of Alderney voted for by Alderney’s electorate)
The States of Deliberation meets monthly and members form a number of committees to oversee different aspects of the island’s affairs. From the 1st of May 2016 the structure of Guernsey’s Government changed. There are fewer Deputies (a reduction from 45 to 38), a Senior Committee and six Principal Committees rather than ten Departments. Once elected to the States of Deliberation, Deputies elect from amongst themselves a President who will head up the States and oversee the Senior Committee, called the Policy and Resources Committee . The Queen is represented in Guernsey by the Lieutenant Governor, whom she appoints. He is allowed to observe States meetings, but cannot play any part in them. As the Queen’s representative, the Lieutenant Governor is the link between the island and the UK for foreign affairs and defence. The Royal Court oversees legal matters and is also presided over by The Bailiff.
Each parish also has its own local government structure known as the Douzaine which has law enforcement powers and handles administration and local matters concerning the Parish.
If you would like to learn more about how the States of Guernsey operates please visit www.gov.gg.
For an independent and confidential discussion if you are planning to relocate to Guernsey please contact:
Office: +44 (0)1534 854574