The Bailiwick comprises Guernsey (including Herm, Jethou and Lihou), Alderney and Sark (including Brecqhou). The Queen is the Head of State of Guernsey and the Lieutenant-Governor is Her Majesty’s representative. The islands are not part of the United Kingdom (UK) but are self-governing dependencies of the Crown.

Government & Parliament:

Guernsey is administered by the States of Guernsey. Its assembly is the States of Deliberation, comprising thirty-eight elected Deputies and two representatives of Alderney.  The Deputies are elected from each of the seven multi-seat constituencies by universal adult suffrage. The Policy and Resources Committee of the States of Guernsey is mandated to perform the function of conducting Guernsey’s external relations. The States of Deliberation acts as the overarching executive and legislative assembly with the power to raise taxation and determine expenditure.

The Bailiwick is not represented in the UK Parliament, and each of the three main Islands has its own legislative assembly. UK Acts of Parliament do not apply in the Bailiwick unless extended by Order in Council. For an Act to extend to the Crown Dependencies other than by Order in Council requires consultation with the Crown Dependencies. Primary legislation passed in Guernsey (and in Alderney and Sark) requires Royal Assent from the Privy Council. The UK Government is responsible for the Bailiwick’s international representation and defence for which Guernsey makes a contribution.

Guernsey and the UK Government signed an International Identity Framework in 2008. This clarifies, amongst other things, that Guernsey has an international identity, which is different to that of the UK, and to the extent that the UK represents Guernsey internationally, it will not act internationally on behalf of Guernsey without prior consultation.

Guernsey’s formal relationship with the European Union (EU) is limited to ensuring the implementation of the arrangements contained in Protocol 3 to the 1972 UK Act of Accession. Consequently, the majority of Directives are not automatically binding upon Guernsey. Nonetheless, Guernsey voluntarily implements appropriate EU laws and meets the international standards on which they are based.

BIC Work Sector lead:

Tourism (work stream completed)

Key Data:

Capital: St Peter Port