Politics of Guernsey

Politics of Guernsey takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic British Crown dependency, whereby the Chief Minister is the head of government.

Executive branch

Lieutenant Governor
Sir Fabian Malbon|
18 October 2005
Geoffrey Rowland|
Chief Minister
Mike Torode|
2007The Lieutenant Governor is the representative of the Crown. The official residence of the Lieutenant Governor is Government House, Queens Road, St Peter Port. Since 18 October 2005, the incumbent is Vice-Admiral Sir Fabian Malbon, born in Southsea, Portsmouth in 1946 and a serving naval officer 1965–2002. His last naval posting before retirement from the Royal Navy was deputy commander-in-chief of fleet.

The Bailiff is the first civil officer in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, serving as president of the legislature and the Royal Court. Since 2004, Guernsey's head of government is the Chief Minister. The Bailiff is appointed by the Crown, and generally holds office until retirement age (65). He presides at the Royal Court, and takes the opinions of the "Jurats", elected lay judges; he also presides over the States, and represents the Crown in all civil matters.

Legislative branch

The States of Guernsey, officially called the States of Deliberation, consists of 45 People's Deputies, elected from multi- or single-member districts every four years. There are also two representatives from Alderney, a self-governing dependency of the Bailiwick, but Sark sends no representative. There are also two non-voting members - the Attorney General and the Solicitor General both appointed by the monarch.

Laws made the States are known as "Projet(s) de Loi" before they are passed and "Loi" or "Law(s)" afterwards (e.g. "The Human Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2000".

A Project de Loi is the equivalent of an English Bill, and a Law is the equivalent of an English Act of Parliament. Laws have no effect until promulgated as Orders-in-Council of the Crown. They are given the Royal Sanction at regular meetings of the Privy Council in London after, which they are returned to the Islands for formal registration at the Royal Court.

The States also make delegated legislation known as Ordinances "(Ordonnances)" and Orders "(Ordres)" which do not require Royal Assent. Commencement orders are usually in the form of Ordinances.

Political parties and elections

Guernsey has no political parties with all representatives being elected as non-partisans.

Judicial branch

The legal system is derived from Norman French and English common law, justice being administered through a combination of Magistrates Court and the Royal Court. The Royal Court is presided over by the Bailiff and 12 Jurats (a permanent elected jury), the ultimate court of appeal being the Privy Council.

Administrative divisions

Each parish is administered by a Douzaine. Douzeniers are elected for a six year mandate, two Douzeniers being elected by parishioners at a Parish Meeting in November each year. The senior Douzenier is known as the Doyen. Two elected Constables carry out the decisions of the Douzaine, serving for between one and three years. The longest serving Constable is known as the Senior Constable and his or her colleague as the Junior Constable.

Following the machinery of government changes in 2004, Guernsey has the following electoral districts, loosely based on the parish system:
*St. Peter Port North
*St. Peter Port South
*St. Sampson's
*South-East (St. Martin's and St. Andrew's)
*West (Torteval, Forest, St. Saviour's, St. Pierre-du-Bois)

ee also

*Policy Council of Guernsey
*Royal Commission on the Constitution (United Kingdom)

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