Judge of Alderney
The Judge of Alderney is the senior judicial appointment of the Crown in Alderney. The Judge of Alderney is the senior member of the judiciary in Alderney above the Jurats. The holder was also entitled to a seat in the States of Alderney and between 1825 and 1949, the holder was the Leader of Alderney.
The Judge of Alderney was initially appointed by the Crown to be the senior legally qualified judge on Alderney to sit with the Jurats (lay judges) in cases on Alderney. The position is equal to that of a judge in the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
In 1825, the Hereditary Governor of Alderney, John Le Mesurier III returned his family's fief on Alderney to the Crown in exchange for an annual pension. This meant that the office of governor was essentially abolished. which meant that the Judge of Alderney, as the highest appointment by the Crown on Alderney, assumed the role of the leader of Alderney. During the Second World War, the Channel Islands were occupied by Nazi Germany. This meant that the Judges were replaced as the leader of Alderney by German Commandants of the Alderney concentration camps and administrators until the liberation. After the war, less than 50% of Alderney's population returned, which led to the Parliament of the United Kingdom proposing Alderney become part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. In 1948, the States of Alderney and the States of Guernsey passed a law that made Alderney give up sovereignty to Guernsey. The law also made provision for the Judge of Alderney to be replaced as leader of Alderney by the democratically elected President of the States of Alderney as the role of representative of the Crown would be fulfilled by the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey. The law also removed the Judge's right to sit in the States of Alderney as the judiciary and legislature were separated.
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