Bailiwick of Jersey
Bailiwick of Jersey
(British Crown Dependency)
Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 31 March 2013
95,732 (July 2013 est.)
Chief Minister since 18 December 2011
The monarch is hereditary; lieutenant governor appointed by the
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Ministers of the Cabinet including the chief minister are elected by
the Assembly of States; Bailiff appointed by the monarch.
Elections last held 27 April 2011
Next scheduled election: 19 October 2014
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Jersey 51.1%, Britons 34.8%, Irish, French, and other white 6.6%, Portuguese/Madeiran 6.4%, other 1.1% (2001 census)
Anglican, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational New Church, Methodist, Presbyterian
British crown dependency; Parliamentary democracy with 12 parishes ; Legal system are the laws of the UK, where applicable and
local statutes; justice is administered by the Royal Court
Executive: Ministers of the Cabinet including the chief minister are elected by the Assembly of States; the monarch is hereditary;
lieutenant governor and bailiff appointed by the monarch
Legislative: Unicameral Assembly of the States of Jersey (58 seats; 53 are voting members, of which 12 are senators elected for
six-year terms, 12 are constables or heads of parishes elected for three-year terms, 29 are deputies elected for three-year terms;
the 5 non-voting members include the bailiff and the deputy bailiff, the Dean of Jersey, the Attorney General, and the Solicitor
General appointed by the monarch)
elections: last held on 27 April 2011 (next to be held in 2014)
Judicial: Royal Court (judges elected by an electoral college and the bailiff)
English 94.5% (official), Portuguese 4.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)
It has been an island for approximately 8,000 years and at its extremes it measures 10 miles east to west and six miles north to
south. The earliest evidence of human activity in the island dates to about 250,000 years ago when bands of hunters used the caves
at La Cotte de St Brelade as a base for hunting mammoth. There was sporadic activity in the area by nomadic bands of hunters until
the introduction of settled communities in the Neolithic period, which is marked by the building of the ritual burial sites known as
dolmens. The number, size and visible locations of these megalithic monuments (especially La Hougue Bie) have suggested that
social organisation over a wide area, including surrounding coasts, was required for the construction. Archaeological evidence
shows that there were trading links with Brittany and the south coast of England during this time. It would appear that the island was
significant enough to inspire large-scale construction projects. Although part of the Roman world, we know very little about the
island until the 11th century. The tradition that the Island was called Caesarea by the Romans appears to have no basis in fact. The
Channel Islands, then called the Lenur Islands, were occupied by the Britons during their migration to Brittany (5th-6th century).
Various saints such as the Celts Samson of Dol and Branwaldr (Brelade) were active in the region, although tradition has it that it
was Saint Helier from Tongeren in modern-day Belgium who first brought Christianity to the Island in the 6th century, and
Charlemagne sent his emissary to the island (at that time called Angia, also spelt Agna) in 803. The island took the name Jersey as a
result of Viking activity in the area between the 9th and 10th centuries. The Channel Islands remained politically linked to Brittany
until 933 when William Longsword, Duke of Normandy seized the Cotentin and the islands and added them to his domain; in 1066
Duke William II of Normandy defeated Harold at Hastings to become king of England; however, he continued to rule his French
possessions as a separate entity. The islands remained part of the Duchy of Normandy until 1204 when King Philippe Auguste of
France conquered the duchy from King John of England; the islands remained in the personal possession of the king and were
described as being a Peculiar of the Crown. The so-called Constitutions of King John are the foundation of modern self-
government. From 1204 onwards the Channel Islands ceased to be a peaceful backwater and were thrown into the spotlight as a
potential flashpoint on the international stage between England and France. In the Treaty of Paris (1259) the King of France gave
up claim to the Channel Islands. The claim was based upon his position as feudal overlord of the Duke of Normandy. The King of
England gave up claim to mainland Normandy and appointed a Warden, a position now termed Lieutenant-Governor and a Bailiff
to govern in his stead. The Channel Islands were never formerly absorbed into the Kingdom of England, however. Mont Orgueil
castle was built at this time to serve as a Royal fortress and military base. During the Hundred Years' War the island was attacked
many times and was even occupied for a couple of years in the 1380s. Because of the island's strategic importance to the English
Crown the islanders were able to negotiate a number of benefits for themselves from the king. During the Wars of the Roses the
island was occupied by the French for seven years (1461-68) before Sir Richard Harliston arrived in the island to claim it back for
the English king. During the 16th century the islanders adopted the Protestant religion and life became very austere. The increasing
use of gunpowder on the battlefield meant that the fortifications on the island had to be adapted and a new fortress built to defend St
Aubin's Bay. The new Elizabeth Castle was named after the queen by Sir Walter Raleigh when he was governor. During the 1640s
England was split by Civil War and hostilities spread into Scotland and Ireland as well. Jersey was divided and while the sympathy
of islanders lay with Parliament the de Carterets held the island for the king. The future Charles II visited the island in 1646 and
again in 1649 following the execution of his father. It was in the Royal Square in St. Helier on February 17, 1649 that Charles was
first publicly proclaimed king after his father's death. Parliamentarian forces eventually captured the island in 1651. In recognition for
all the help given to him during his exile, Charles II gave George Carteret, Bailiff and governor, a large grant of land in the American
colonies, which he promptly named New Jersey, now part of the United States of America. Towards the end of the 17th century
Jersey strengthened its links with the Americas when many islanders emigrated to New England and north east Canada. The
Chamber of Commerce founded 24 February 1768 is the oldest in the Commonwealth. The Code of 1771 laid down for the first
time in one place the extant laws of Jersey, and from this time the functions of the Royal Court and the States of Jersey were
delimited, with sole legislative power vested in the States. The 18th century was a period of political tension between Britain and
France as the two nations clashed all over the world as their ambitions grew. Because of its position Jersey was more or less on a
continuous war footing. During the American Wars of Independence there were two attempted invasions of the island. The number
of English speaking soldiers stationed in the island and the number of retired officers and English speaking labourers who came to
the islands in the 1820s saw the island gradually moving towards an English-speaking culture.J ersey was the 4th largest ship
building area in the 19th century British Isles, building over 900 vessels around the island. In the late 19th century as the former
thriving cider and wool industries declined, island farmers benefited from the development of two luxury products - the Jersey cow
and the Jersey Royal potato. The former was the product of careful and selective breeding programmes; the latter being a total
fluke. The anarchist philosopher, Peter Kropotkin who visited the Channel Islands in 1890, 1896 and 1903 described the
agriculture of Jersey in The Conquest of Bread. The 19th century also saw the rise of tourism as an important industry, which
reached its climax in the period from the end of the Second World War to the 1980s. English was first permitted in debates in the
States of Jersey in 1901 and the first legislation to be drawn up primarily in English was the Income Tax Law of 1928. Emotionally,
the 20th century has been dominated by the Occupation of the island by German troops between 1940 and 1945 which saw about
8,000 islanders evacuated, 1,200 islanders deported to camps in Germany and over 300 islanders being sentenced to the prison
and concentration camps of mainland Europe (it depended on Neuengamme). 20 died as a result. The islanders endured near-
starvation in the winter of 1944-45, after it had been cut off from German-occupied Europe by Allied forces advancing from the
Normandy beachheads, avoided only by the arrival of the Red Cross supply ship Vega in December 1944. Liberation Day - May 9
is marked as a public holiday. The Channel Islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. The
event which has had the most far reaching effect on Jersey in modern times, is the growth of the finance industry in the island from
the 1960s onwards. As one of the Crown Dependencies, Jersey is autonomous and self-governing, with its own independent legal,
administrative and fiscal systems. In 1973, the Royal Commission on the Constitution set out the duties of the Crown as including:
ultimate responsibility for the 'good government' of the Crown Dependencies; ratification of island legislation by Order in Council
(Royal Assent); international representation, subject to consultation with the island authorities before concluding any agreement
which would apply to them; ensuring the islands meet their international obligations; and defence. Elizabeth II's traditional title as
Head of State is Duke of Normandy. "The Crown" is defined by the Law Officers of the Crown as the "Crown in right of Jersey".
In 2007, the Chief Minister and the UK Lord Chancellor signed an agreement that established a framework for the development of
the international identity of Jersey. The Queen's representative and adviser in the island is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. He is a
point of contact between Jersey ministers and the United Kingdom government and carries out executive functions in relation to
immigration control, deportation, naturalisation and the issue of passports. In January 2011, the Chief Minister designated one of his
assistant ministers as having responsibility for external relations; he is now often described as the island's 'foreign minister'. Tax
information exchange agreements (TIEAs) have been signed directly by the island with several countries. Since September 2011,
the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has been General Sir John McColl. The question of an independent Jersey has been discussed
from time to time in the Assembly of the States of Jersey. In 2005–2008, a working group of the States of Jersey examined the
options for independence, concluding that Jersey 'is equipped to face the challenges of independence' but making no
recommendations. Proposals for Jersey independence continue to be discussed outside the States. In October 2012 the Council of
Ministers issued a "Common policy for external relations" that noted "that it is not Government policy to seek independence
from the United Kingdom, but rather to ensure that Jersey is prepared if it were in the best interests of Islanders to do so". On the
basis of the established principles the Council of Ministers decided to "ensure that Jersey is prepared for external change that may
affect the Island’s formal relationship with the United Kingdom and/or European Union".
Source: Wikipedia: History of Jersey
Jersey's economy is based on international financial services, agriculture, and tourism. In 2010 the financial services sector
accounted for about 50% of the island's output. Potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, and especially flowers are important export crops,
shipped mostly to the UK. The Jersey breed of dairy cattle is known worldwide and represents an important export income earner.
Milk products go to the UK and other EU countries. Tourism accounts for one-quarter of GDP. In recent years, the government
has encouraged light industry to locate in Jersey with the result that an electronics industry has developed, displacing more traditional
industries. All raw material and energy requirements are imported as well as a large share of Jersey's food needs. Light taxes and
death duties make the island a popular tax haven. In January 2013, Jersey signed a tax agreement with Guernsey and the Isle of
Man, in order to enable the islands' authorities to end tax avoidance and evasion. Living standards come close to those of the UK.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Jersey)
Jersey has an unwritten constitution arising from the Treaty of Paris (1259). When Henry III and the King of France came to terms
over the Duchy of Normandy, all lands except the Channel Islands recognised the suzerainty of the King of France. The Channel
Islands however were never absorbed into the Kingdom of England by any Act of Union and exist as "peculiars of the Crown".
The Queen as head of state appoints the Lieutenant-Governor, who serves a ceremonial role as the Queen's representative and as
commander of the Armed Forces, for such a term as she pleases.
Jersey is a "long-standing, small democracy" with ultimate authority resting in the Crown as represented by the Lieutenant-Governor
and the Bailiff. Since 2005, executive power is exercised by the Chief Minister and other Ministers. The development of the
Constitution has seen a gradual separation of the legislature from the judiciary, but the Bailiff remains the president of the States
Elizabeth II's traditional title as Head of State is Duke of Normandy. "The Crown" is defined by the Law Officers of the Crown as
the "Crown in right of Jersey". The Queen's representative and adviser in the island is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. He is a
point of contact between Jersey ministers and the United Kingdom government and carries out executive functions in relation to
immigration control, deportation, naturalisation and the issue of passports. Since 2011, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has been
Sir John McColl.In October 2012 the Council of Ministers issued a "Common policy for external relations"that set out a number of
principles for the conduct of external relations in accordance with existing undertakings and agreements. This document noted that
Jersey "is a self-governing, democratic country with the power of self-determination" and "that it is not Government policy to seek
independence from the United Kingdom, but rather to ensure that Jersey is prepared if it were in the best interests of Islanders to do
so". On the basis of the established principles the Council of Ministers decided to "ensure that Jersey is prepared for external
change that may affect the Island’s formal relationship with the United Kingdom and/or European Union".
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Jersey
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)
March 7, 2012
The Island of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is an international financial center offering a sophisticated array of offshore
services. Jersey is a British crown dependency but has its own parliament, government, and laws. The United Kingdom (UK) remains
constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation but has entrusted Jersey to regulate its own financial service
sector and to negotiate and sign tax information exchange agreements directly with other jurisdictions. The financial services industry is
a key sector, with banking, investment services, and trust and company services accounting for approximately half of Jersey’s total
economic activity. As a substantial proportion of customer relationships are with nonresidents, adherence to know-your-customer rules
is an area of focus for efforts to limit illicit money from foreign criminal activity. Jersey also requires that beneficial ownership
information be obtained and held by its company registrar. Island authorities undertake efforts to protect the financial services industry
against the laundering of the proceeds of foreign political corruption deriving from industries such as oil, gas, and transportation.
Enforcement and implementation issues and comments:
Jersey does not enter into bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties. Instead it is able to provide mutual legal assistance to any jurisdiction,
including the US, in accordance with the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) (Jersey) Law 2001 and the Civil Asset Recovery
(International Co-operation (Jersey) Law 2007. Jersey has granted U.S. requests for assistance in criminal matters. Jersey signed a Tax
Information Exchange Agreement with the United States in 2002. In 2009, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) signed a
statement of cooperation with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Office of the Comptroller of Currency, Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of Thrift Supervision. This statement is in addition to existing memoranda of understanding
with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Although not yet used in practice, Jersey has an ability to designate persons and freeze their assets in conformity with UNSCR 1373;
however, no formal procedure is in place to receive and assess requirements based on a foreign request. Additionally, the definition of
“funds” subject to freezing does not expressly refer to assets “jointly” or “indirectly” owned or controlled by designated or listed
persons. The JFSC website contains a link to the United Kingdom Consolidated List of asset freeze targets, as designated by the United
Nations, European Union and United Kingdom. It does not use other means to distribute UN lists of designated terrorists or terrorist
Jersey is a Crown Dependency and cannot sign or ratify international conventions in its own right unless entrusted to do so, as is the
case with tax information exchange agreements. Rather, the UK is responsible for Jersey’s international affairs and, at Jersey’s request,
may arrange for the ratification of any Convention to be extended to Jersey. The UK’s ratification of the 1988 UN Drug Convention was
extended to include Jersey in July 1998; its ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption was extended to include Jersey in
November 2009; and its ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism was extended to
Jersey in September 2008. The UK has not extended the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime to Jersey.
Click here to read more »
28 May 2010
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Reports submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention
Eighteenth and nineteenth periodic reports of States parties due in April 2006
United Kingdom* ** ***
346. The following report sets out progress by the government of Jersey since 2003 regarding implementation of the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Discrimination (Jersey) Law 200-
347. The States of Jersey decided in 2002 to introduce new primary legislation to address the issue of racial discrimination. It was
subsequently decided to extend the remit of the drafting programme to include protection from discrimination in a number of other areas
including sex and disability discrimination.
348. In preparing the draft Law, the Island authorities have carefully considered the need to present legislation that will provide
adequate protection in accordance with the standards expected in today’s society and at the same time be comprehensive and clear.
349. The draft Law is designed to be an enabling law. In other words, the provisions of the legislation will allow the States to adopt
separate sets of Regulations in phases which will progressively extend protection from discrimination in different areas. The intention is
to achieve conformity and consistency of treatment in relation to different areas of discrimination, because the underlying provisions of
the Law will deal with all types of discrimination in a similar way.
350. On 24 January 2008, the Council of Ministers considered a report on the proposed Discrimination (Jersey) Law 200-, together
with the revised draft legislation.
351. The Council endorsed the draft Discrimination Law and recommended that the Minister for Home Affairs forward the draft
Law to Scrutiny review and also recommended that the Minister should publish a consultation report seeking comments on the draft
Law. Public responses were requested by 14 March 2008.
352. A copy of the consultation paper and draft legislation are available at –
353. Following the consultation, a comprehensive review of the legislation has been carried out.
• Introduction of the Discrimination (Jersey) Law is a priority for 2009 and 2010. Further work to be carried out prior to
implementing the principal Law includes finalising the Tribunal arrangements with Social Security and the Tribunal Chairman; working
with the Social Security Department on the Employment Law; confirming human rights compliance, lodging and the States adoption of
the law; Royal Assent; and further down stream, recruiting a Discrimination Officer, training and briefing. Due to current resource
pressures, implementation at some point in 2011 is the realistic and achievable expectation.
Click here to read more »
No Reports from Freedom House mentioning Jersey after exhaustive search of their database. Please forward any information
you may have regarding Freedom House efforts on behalf of Jersey to the Pax Gaea World Report editor at the link below
Contact the editor »
18th Amnesty Freedom Cycle Ride
Sunday 12th May 2013
Come and join the Amnesty Freedom Ride and explore the Island's beautiful lanes and coast by bike.
Choice of three routes; Family ride (10 or 20 km); Half-island ride (36 km); All-island ride (70 km).
All visitors are welcome. To register, please email email@example.com (registrations on the day are accepted)
Starts @ 10.00am from the Maritime Museum (finish 2-4pm)
Click here to read more »
No Reports from Human Rights Watch mentioning Jersey after exhaustive search of their database. Please forward any
information you may have regarding Human Rights Watch efforts on behalf of Jersey to the Pax Gaea World Report editor at
the link below
Contact the editor »
Senator Sir Philip Bailhache's speech to Institute of Directors on 17 April 2012
18 April 2012
Playing to our strengths
That is not a call to arms, or an encouragement for belligerent statements. On the contrary, we should be subtle, diplomatic, and play to
our strengths. The professional skills of our finance industry are a strength. Our compliance with international standards is a strength.
Our lack of debt and financial reserves are strengths. We provide value to the City of London, and therefore to the UK, in terms of
liquidity. We need to explain ourselves and to persuade opinion formers and leaders that we are an asset and not a liability. We need to
speak our truth clearly and frequently and resolutely.
In order to defend our interests, we need to be given greater authority by the UK to conduct our international affairs. We need
entrustments to negotiate and secure international agreements outside the area of tax, in asset sharing, and social security and so on. We
need to be trusted more generally in the conduct of our affairs, both external and internal.
We cannot expect to be given a licence to act contrary to UK interests, but we should expect, following our own special relationship, to
get UK support when our political interests coincide, and when our interests and those of the UK do not clash.
To gain that kind of support from the UK would, I think, overcome at least some of the disadvantages of our current status as a Crown
Dependency. Such a change in our constitutional competence is entirely consistent with the recommendations of the House of Commons
Justice Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Alan Beith which reported on the Crown Dependencies in March 2010.
If we cannot achieve those kinds of changes, then Jersey has a stark choice. We can reconcile ourselves to being, as I put it recently, a
satellite of the UK, always toeing the line of UK interests, and accepting for our industries and businesses a straitjacket that would inhibit
innovation and initiative.
Or we could take the comparatively small step of taking responsibility for our destiny as an independent state. For my part, I am not in
favour of being a satellite, but I also think that a sensible and mutually satisfactory solution could be found if the UK were to place
greater trust in the Channel Islands to conduct their international affairs properly, diplomatically and with good sense.
Click here to read more »
WORK AND RESIDENCE PERMITS: ESTABLISHMENT OF WORKING GROUP (P.109/2010) – COMMENTS
Presented to the States on 22nd September 2010
by the Chief Minister STATES GREFFE
The development of Jersey’s new Migration legislation has involved extensive research and consultation, as shown in the attached
timeline, and Members have had many opportunities to contribute their views. These opportunities will continue to be available.
Having seen the draft legislation, I believe that provided it meets Human Rights compliance, which I believe it does, then it achieves the
aims of the States set out in P.25/2005 – “Migration: monitoring and regulation” which was approved by the Assembly nearly
The draft legislation is being submitted for review by the Law Officers’ Department, including Human Rights Audit. Once this is
completed, it is hoped the new Laws will be lodged early in the New Year for the States to debate in May 2011. The draft legislation has
also been made available for scrutiny to the Corporate Services Scrutiny Sub-Panel, specifically established to review the Migration
policy, with membership comprised from relevant Panels. A further working group at this stage would therefore be unnecessary and
Migration policy has been the subject of considerable activity, and a timeline showing the key dates is included as an Appendix to these
Comments, as well as additional background information.
There is no persuasive evidence to suggest that a work permit system would be the best option for Jersey and I believe that forming a
Working Group would simply replicate work already carried out. Therefore I see no merit in establishing a Working Group in advance of
the forthcoming debate on the draft migration legislation, and in advance of understanding the findings of the Corporate Services
Scrutiny Sub-Panel, especially with a potential further cost of £50,000.
I therefore urge members to reject this proposition.
Click here to read more »
A talk given by the Attorney-General
JHRG: 30 April 2012
Jersey's Attorney-General Timothy Le Cocq came to the group's April meeting to provide a high-level overview of the Human Rights
(Jersey) Law 2000 (hereafter "the 2000 Law"). The 2000 Law incorporates the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights
into Jersey's legislature such that any new law must be seen to be compliant with the Convention.
The Attorney-General first explained the background to the Convention. It was drafted in the late 1940s in part as a response to the
atrocities committed during the Second World War, and the British government signed it in 1950. It was ratified and came into force in
1953. It was created under the auspices of the Council of Europe (not the European Union or its predecessors), a body which currently
includes every state which has territory in Europe apart from Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The Council of Europe negotiates at state level, so for the purposes of the ECHR Jersey is the responsibility of the United Kingdom. Any
case brought through the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg would be brought in the first instance against the UK. It is for this reason
that Jersey was required by the UK to implement the 2000 Law.
The Attorney-General went on to explain three major points of how the Convention operates. The first is that there is always a broad
interpretation - what matters is not just the letter of the law but the spirit of its application. The second is that the Convention is a living
instrument. It bases its decisions on current practice, and if that changes and there is a requirement to take a fresh look at a judgement it
is free to do so (by contrast, British law sets precedent which can only be altered by Act of Parliament to change the law).
Against this there is the third, crucial point: namely that the Convention cannot be used to legislate for principles. The Court of Human
Rights is charged with investigating substance and reality, which means there has to be a victim who believes their rights have been
abused (though that victim can be a representative for a class action lawsuit). This is more tricky than it sounds, because the Convention
has a significant margin built into it. For example, Protocol 1 to the Convention requires free and fair elections - but it does not require
any particular system or frequency of voting.
The ECHR is the only convention which allows legal redress in Jersey. However, there is law which reflects what influence the
provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be given in the Jersey courts.
How this impacts on law-making
The Attorney-General began by explaining that there is a difference between primary and secondary legislation. Primary legislation
includes Orders in Council (UK Law extended to Jersey), legislation brought to the house by a minister and triennial regulations. It is not
possible to stop primary legislation from being enacted on grounds that it is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention, so it is
this law that the Law Officers are most involved in scrutinising. The process for doing this is still evolving: the Law Officers may be
involved either at the policy-making or early drafting stage, or else at the final draft stage as auditors. Secondary legislation (eg a
ministerial Order) can be stopped if it is incompatible with the convention.
He pointed out that the statement made about compatibility is legal advice. It is not binding simply because, until it is tested, it is no more
than an opinion on which way a court will see it. But although a minister could push legislation forward over the protest of the Law
Officers, the law would be scrutinised before assent was granted by the Privy Council (sitting as the Queen-in-Council), and it would be
a matter of major embarrassment for legislation to be turned down.
Click here to read more>>
|Click map for
|Click flag for Country
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Queen since 6 February 1952
Bailiff since 09 July 2009
Sir John McColl
Lieutenant Governor since 26 September 2011
Prince Charles of the United Kingdom
Heir Apparent since 14 November 1948