Politics of Jersey
Politics of the Bailiwick of Jersey takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitution. As one of the Crown Dependencies, Jersey is autonomous and self-governing, with its own independent legal and fiscal systems; the legislature is the States Assembly. Executive powers are exercised by a Chief Minister and nine ministers, known collectively as the Council of Ministers, part of the Government of Jersey. Other executive powers are exercised by the Connétable and Parish Assembly in each of the twelve parishes. 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 and the issue of passports. Since 2011, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has been Sir John McColl.
The Crown appoints the Lieutenant Governor, the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff, Attorney General and Solicitor General. In practice, the process of appointment involves a panel in Jersey which select a preferred candidate whose name is communicated to the UK Ministry of Justice for approval before a formal recommendation is made to the Queen. Jersey has an unwritten constitution arising from the Treaty of Paris; 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". Campaigns for constitutional reform during the 19th century called for: the replacement of lay Jurats with professional judges in the Royal Court to decide questions of law. In 1845, the elected office of deputy was created though this did little to redress the disparity of representation between the rural and urban parishes: in 1854 St Helier contained over half of the island's population, yet was able to elect only three out of the 14 deputies.
Two significant constitutional reforms took place during the 20th century. In 1946, the States of Jersey drew up plans for change following the German Occupation, which were examined by a Committee of the Privy Council. No change was made to the functions of the Bailiff; the twelve Jurats were removed from the assembly of the States of Jersey and replaced by twelve senators elected on an island-wide basis who would have no judicial functions. The twelve Rectors lost their place in the States assembly. No reforms were made to the role of the Deputies in the assembly; the second major reforms took place in December 2005, when the States of Jersey Law 2005 came into force. This created a system of ministerial government to replace the previous committee-based administration. Legislation relating to the organisation of government includes: States of Jersey Law 2005 Administrative Decisions Law 1982 Loi au sujet des assemblées paroissiales Loi au sujet des assemblées paroissiales Bailiff of Jersey Law 1959 European Communities Law 1973 Loi au sujet des centeniers et officiers de police Centeniers Law 2007 Human Rights Law 2000 Judicial and Legislative Functions Law 1951 Parish of St. Helier Law 1976 Police Force Law 1974 Prison Law 1957 Public Elections Law 2002 Public Finances Law 2005 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Law 2005 Royal Court Law 1948 Règlements ProvisoiresConstitutional reforms continue to be debated in the island.
In 2009, the States assembly rejected proposals by the Privileges and Procedures Committee to simplify the electoral system by keeping the 12 Connétables and introducing 37 deputies elected to six "super-constituencies". In 2010, the States assembly agreed to holding elections for all seats on a single date and to cut the number of Senators from 12 to 8. In December 2010, a committee chaired by Lord Carswell recommended changes to the role of the Bailiff—in particular that the Bailiff should cease to the presiding officer over the States assembly. Following widespread criticisms of the system of ministerial government introduced in December 2005, the States assembly agreed in March 2011 to establish an independent electoral commission to review the make-up of the assembly and government. In April 2011, Deputy Le Claire lodged au Greffe a request for the Chief Minister to produce, for debate, a draft written "Constitution for Jersey". Within the United Kingdom government, responsibility for relations between Jersey and the United Kingdom lie in the Crown Dependencies Branch within the International Directorate of the Ministry of Justice, which has a core team of three officials, with four others and four lawyers available when required.
In 2010, the House of Commons Justice Committee, conducting an inquiry into the Crown dependencies, found that the Jersey government and those of the other islands were "with some important caveats, content with their relationship with the Ministry of Justice". Tensions have, arisen from time to time. In the 1980s, there were discussions about a financial contrib
Elections in Jersey
Elections in Jersey take place for the Assembly of the States of Jersey and at parish-level. Various parties have been formed over the years in Jersey, but few candidates stand for election affiliated to any political party. All elections in Jersey use the First-past-the-post voting system. In 2008, the voting age was reduced to 16 years. Jersey elects a legislature. From November 2011, the assembly of the States of Jersey has 51 elected members: 10 Senators, 29 Deputies and 12 Connétables; the normal term of office for elected States Members is four years, though members elected in October 2011 and October 2014 will serve for shorter periods. From 2018, elections will be held in May every fourth year; the most recent elections were held in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, October 2011, October 2014 and May 2018. The office of Senator was created in 1948. In the early years of Senatorial elections since 1948, parish loyalties meant that votes would swing around the candidates, with Saint Helier - the largest and last parish to declare - deciding the election.
Since the 1980s, parish loyalties to local candidates have faded in favour of Islandwide issues and it is usual for the pattern of winning candidates to be clear from the first declarations, with "Town" voters in St Helier only to decide the last-placed candidate. Senators served terms of nine years but this was reduced to six years in 1966 and to four years in 2011; the number of Senators will be reduced to eight in the October 2014 elections. As part of the transitional arrangements for this new electoral system, the six Senators elected for six-year terms in 2008 did not face election in 2011. Up to the 2008 elections, six of the 12 Senatorial seats fell vacant every three years in elections held in October. Deputies had three year terms, with elections held in November. Defeated Senatorial candidates were therefore able to stand in the following Deputorial elections, it was not uncommon for an incumbent Senator denied re-election by the Island electorate to seek a refreshed mandate in their own parish.
A number of prospective candidates for Deputy used the preceding Senatorials as a dry-run to either raise their public profile or, in the absence of a strong tie to one particular parish, to see which Deputorial constituency gave them the highest Senatorial vote. There was no uniform date for Connétable elections. To be nominated for Senator, a candidate must secure a nomination paper signed by 10 validly-registered voters, including a proposer and seconder; the proposer and seconder must attend in person the Electoral Assembly held at the Parish Hall of St Helier, presided over by the Comité des Connétables, the proposer must read out publicly the nomination form, including the candidate's declaration of criminal convictions. If more candidates are nominated than there are seats available, a poll is declared, to be taken on the date set by the Royal Court. If there are no more candidates nominated after 20 minutes than available seats the candidates are declared elected unopposed and no poll is taken.
The Royal Court appoints an autorisé for each constituency to oversee the poll. Results for each parish on polling day are declared by the autorisé. In the October 2011 elections, four senatorial seats were contested, each voter having a maximum of four unranked votes in a first past the post bloc voting system. In the October 2014 elections, each voter had eight unranked votes for Senator; the procedure for nomination for Deputy follows the same pattern as for the Senatorials, except that the nomination paper must be signed by 10 voters, including proposer and seconder, validly registered in the constituency in which they intend standing. The proposer and seconder must attend in person the Electoral Assembly presided by the Constable of the respective parish held at the respective parish's parish hall or other place as may be specified. In the case of parishes divided into more than one electoral district, nominations are accepted at the Electoral Assembly by district, nominations for each district having to last at least 20 minutes.
In single-member districts, a simple first past the post election is held. In multi-member districts, the system is that of a first past the post bloc election analogous to the Senatorials. For senators: Jersey by-elections, 1999 Jersey by-elections, 2003 Jersey by-elections, 2004 Jersey by-elections, 2010For deputies: Jersey by-elections, 1999 Jersey by-elections, 2000 Jersey by-elections, 2014 The first local election on the island was a one off event in 1940; the elected Connétable heads the administration of each of the twelve parishes. Procureurs du Bien Public and Centeniers are elected under the same rules as Senators and Constables. Centeniers and Constable's Officers, collectively the Honorary Police are elected by a Parish assembly along with members of the Roads Committee and Roads Inspectors and must take an oath of office before the Royal Court. Other municipal officials are elected by an Assembly of Electors but are not subject to an oath of office. Changes to the Voting Law meant that all elections for the position of Procureur du Bien Public and Centenier now follow the rule applied to elections to the States of Jersey
Saint John, Jersey
Saint John is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey and is situated on the north coast of the island. St. John shares borders with St Mary on its west, Trinity to the east, St Lawrence and Saint Helier on its south. A rural community, the parish has a small shopping area, village pub, around its parish church and parish hall; the cliffs of the north coast afford some of the best views in Jersey. After Trinity, it has the second highest point in Jersey at Mont Mado; the parish covers territory of 4,846 vergées. Mont Mado granite was quarried historically; the largest quarry is now that of Ronez on the north coast. La Route du Nord was constructed during the German occupation of the Channel Islands as a scheme to provide work; the road is now dedicated to the men and women of Jersey who suffered 1939-1945. The parish is divided into vingtaines for administrative purposes as follows: La Vingtaine du Nord La Vingtaine de Hérupe La Vingtaine du DouetThe parish is one electoral district and elects one Deputy.
St John is twinned with: Le Teilleul in France The symbol for St John has links to the Crusades and the Maltese cross is used within Jersey to depict the Parish of St John. Saint John is the second least populated parish of Jersey, having only 2,911 residents as of 2011. St Jean at Les Pages Jèrriaises
General Sir John Chalmers McColl, is a retired senior British Army officer and a past Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. McColl served as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2007 to 2011. Educated at Culford School in Suffolk, England, McColl was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1973 and promoted to lieutenant on 8 September 1974, he was promoted to captain on 8 March 1979 and to major on 30 September 1984. In 1989 he became a squadron commander in the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 30 June 1990 and to acting colonel shortly after, he was promoted to colonel on 30 June 1995 and to brigadier on 31 December 1996. He held a variety of commands and military posts before commanding 1st Mechanised Brigade in 1997. In 1999 he became Assistant Chief of Staff at Land Command and in 2000 he was given command of 3rd Mechanised Division. In 2001 he was appointed the first leader of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
In 2003 he became Commandant of the Joint Services Staff College. In March 2004 he was deployed as Senior British Military Representative and Deputy Commanding General, Multinational Force, Iraq and at the end of that year he became Commander of Regional Forces at Land Command. In October 2007 he became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe in the rank of general, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2008 New Year Honours. He was the preferred choice of Afghanistan for the role of U. N. super envoy. However, on 7 March 2008 Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide was appointed as the UN representative for Afghanistan, he retired as DSACEUR in March 2011. On 26 October 2010 it was announced that he would be appointed to the role of Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, he took office on 26 September 2011. On 5 June 2012, Sir John, his wife Lady McColl, represented Jersey at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Dedication Service at St Paul's Cathedral. After his fixed term of office, his tenure ended on 30 November 2016 and he was succeeded by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton.
Office of the Lieutenant-Governor
James Leslie Perchard is a former politician, elected as Senator in the States of Jersey in the 2005 election. Perchard was educated at Trinity and De La Salle College. In 2005 he retired from his farming business before entering politics, he is married to Susan and has three children James and Charles. Before entering politics he held the positions of Chairman of the Jersey Young Farmers' Club, President of the Countrymen's Club, Vice President of the Jersey Farmers' Union, he served as Assistant Minister and Minister for Health and Social Services from 2008 - 2009. In 2003, Perchard built a cricket field on his farm in St Martin; the Farmers Field is now the home to the Farmers Cricket Club In October 2005 Perchard finished 6th of 15 candidates achieving 8,998 votes and was duly elected to the States of Jersey. He was Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services before being elected Minister in December 2008; the Senator resigned in April 2009. In August 2011, he announced he would not stand for re-election for "personal and business reasons."
He stood for the States as an independent candidate, summarising his politics as follows: "I believe in the freedom of the individual and the equality of opportunity. If elected I will promote and support low tax, unobtrusive government that seeks to create a favourable business and social environment."
The jurats are lay people in Guernsey and Jersey who act as judges of fact rather than law, though they preside over land conveyances and liquor licensing. In Alderney, the jurats are judges of both fact and law in both civil and criminal matters; the term derives from the Latin iūrātus, "sworn ". Under the ancien régime in France, in several towns, of the south-west, such as La Rochelle and Bordeaux, the jurats were members of the municipal body; the title was borne by officials, corresponding to aldermen, in the Cinque Ports, but is now chiefly used as a title of office in the Channel Islands. There are two bodies, consisting each of twelve jurats, for the Bailiwicks of Jersey and of Guernsey respectively, they form, with the bailiff as the Royal Court in each Bailiwick. In Guernsey and Jersey, the jurats, as lay people, are judges of fact rather than law, though they preside over land conveyances and liquor licensing. In Alderney, the jurats are judges of both fact and law in both civil and criminal matters.
Until the constitutional reforms introduced in the 1940s to separate legislature and judiciary, they were elected for life, in Jersey by islandwide suffrage, in Guernsey by the States of Election, were a constituent part of the legislative bodies. Although no longer a political post, the office of jurat is still considered the highest elected position to which a citizen can aspire. However, in Alderney, jurats are appointed by the Crown, following a recommendation from the President of Alderney. In Jersey, the power to raise excise duties was exercised by the Assembly of Governor and Jurats; these financial powers, along with the assets of the Assembly, were taken over by the States of Jersey in 1921, thereby enabling the States to control the budget independently of the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. In 1948 the jurats were replaced in the legislature by directly-elected senators. Jurats now serve until retirement as non-professional judges of fact, they determine sentences in criminal matters and assess damages in civil matters.
There are twelve Jurats at any one time, who are indirectly elected by an electoral college constituted of States Members and members of the legal profession. The robes of jurats are red with black trim; the Royal Court sits either as the Superior Number. Only the Superior Number can impose sentences of imprisonment of more than four years; the Superior Number acts as a court of first appeal in respect of sentences handed down by the Inferior Number. Otherwise, Appeals from the Inferior Number and the Superior Number are heard by the Jersey Court of Appeal, in which jurats do not sit. Thereafter, any appeal would be heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council sitting in London. Jurats sit on the Island's Licensing Assembly and customarily serve as autorisés to oversee polling at public elections and declare the results; the Prison Board of Visitors, responsible for overseeing the care of prisoners in Jersey's prison system, comprises seven jurats, who inspect the prison and, whilst visiting, hear any prisoners' complaints.
In 2009, a report raised concerns about potential conflicts of interests, recommended that membership of the board should include independent members of the public. In Guernsey, the jurats are still elected by the States of Election, made up of the Island's judiciary, law officers and Anglican clergy; the Royal Court of Guernsey sits either as the Full Court. The position of Juré-Justicier Suppléant was created in 2008 whereby a Jurat with over five years service and is aged over 65 may retire and offer themselves for election as a Juré-Justicier Suppléant whereby the retirement age advances to 75; the robes of jurats are purple. The court of Alderney consists of the Judge of Alderney. Juror Lay judge Capitoul, the equivalent office in Toulouse "How to become a Jurat in Jersey". BBC News Online. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2013
Sarah Craig Ferguson
Sarah Craig Ferguson is a Jersey politician. Sarah studied at Manchester University, graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering and took her MBA at Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York City, majoring in Finance and accountancy with a minor in marketing, she has worked in manufacturing, finance, compliance but has spent the major part of her career in finance concluding as a Senior banking supervisor at the Financial Services Commission. In her spare time she served as a Constables Officer and as a Centenier in St Brelade.. She has been a member of the States of Jersey since 2002, was sworn in as a Senator in November 2008, she lost her seat in 2014. In 2016, she was re-elected to the Assembly in a by-election triggered by the resignation of Senator Zoe Cameron, she was educated at the University of Manchester, Columbia Business School in New York City. Sarah Ferguson was first sworn into the States on 12 December 2002 as a Deputy for St Brelade, she was re-elected in 2005, elected as a Senator for the first time in 2008.
She lost her seat in the 2014 elections. She was returned to office in September 2016 to complete Senator Cameron's term through to May 2018