The Bailiwick of Guernsey (comprised of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm), is a Crown Dependency, meaning that it is part of the British Isles, but not the United Kingdom.
The Bailiwick is autonomous in its domestic affairs, but the UK government is responsible for our international representation and defence.
Being a Crown Dependency, the King is represented in Guernsey by a Lieutenant Governor, whom he appoints. The post of Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey, and before it, Governor, can trace its origins to Anglo-Norman history.
We have an island-wide voting system to elect our 38 representatives, called People's Deputies and the island's Parliament is known as the States of Deliberation which is made up of the following:
- 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 meet monthly and the People's Deputies form 6 Principal Committee Departments and 1 Senior Committee, which oversee different aspects of the island's affairs, (Deputies elect a President amongst themselves who will head up the States and oversee the Senior Committee, called the Policy & Resources Committee).
The Royal Court oversee legal matters and is also presided over by The Bailiff.
There are ten ecclesiastical parishes and each has its own local government structure known as the Douzaine. The twelve (larger parishes have up to twenty) elected members are known as Douzeiners meet monthly and their responsibilities include the supervision of the polls at general and parochial elections, granting permits to build near to highways, issuing dog licences and ensuring that hedges are cut. They organise the collection of rubbish, administer the parish cemeteries and carry out other routine administration tasks.
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