McGonnell and the Bailiffs of Jersey and Guernsey, 16 years on

I hope readers might be interested in this Blogpost by Andrew Le Sueur, discussing certain aspects of Jersey law and Guernsey law. This is being reblogged 5 years to the day since the original Blogpost was first published …

UK Constitutional Law Association

Lawyers and legal academics from outside the Channel Islands tend to know only three things about the legal systems of Jersey and Guernsey. One is that islands have deployed their constitutional status as Crown Dependencies to develop into major offshore finance centres.  Another is that they have a continuing connection with the pre-revolutionary customary laws of Normandy. And, third, that each island (they are separate jurisdictions) has a ‘bailiff’—a snippet of knowledge in circulation thanks largely to the European Court of Human Rights eleven year old ruling in McGonnell v United Kingdom.

Richard McGonnell wanted to convert a flower packing shed next to his commercial glasshouses into living accommodation but was refused planning permission under the island’s detailed development plan (‘DDP6’) and was subsequently prosecuted when he went ahead regardless. In 1995 the Royal Court of Guernsey dismissed his appeal: the presiding judge was the Bailiff who five years…

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