States of Alderney
|States of Alderney
États d'Aurigny (French)
|22 November 2014|
|States of Alderney Chamber|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The States of Alderney (French: États d'Aurigny) is the parliament/council and the legislature of Alderney, part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The origin of the States is unknown, but has operated from the mediaeval period. The States of Alderney comprises ten Members, and a President of the States of Alderney, currently Stuart Trought who was elected in 2010 to replace Sir Norman Browse who retired after eight years of presidency.
The States of Alderney includes ten members, half of whom have to stand for election every two years so that the entire parliament is changed over a period of four years. There is also a president who must stand for election every four years, although there is no constitutional limit on the number of terms they may serve. Routine government is performed by three committees, Policy and Finance, General Services, and Building and Development Control, each of which works under a different mandate and has a separate budget. Extra committees are usually formed in order to deal with specific areas of policy, such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Management Committee. In addition, two members of the States are nominated as representatives to the Guernsey States of Deliberation.
The island is a self-governing Crown Dependency, part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey since Elizabethan times. Certain services, known as 'transferred services' are provided in Alderney by the Guernsey Government under an agreement entered into between the States of Alderney and the States of Guernsey in 1948 ('the 1948 Agreement').
Defence and Foreign Policy are reserved to the Crown, which in modern constitutional terms means the relevant United Kingdom government (the Ministries of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK liaises with Alderney (as with all Crown Dependencies), through the Ministry of Justices. Formally, ultimate legislative, executive and judicial authority continues to vest in the Privy Council which approves all primary legislation passed by the States of Alderney, and through its Judicial Committee, is its highest court of appeal.
By constitutional convention, the British Crown does not involve itself directly in Alderney domestic government, although it retains a theoretical ability to do so if 'good government' is at risk. (There is an analogous power in respect of the British Overseas Territories which has been exercised in recent years, in order to deal with systemic corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands.)
The President of the States of Alderney is directly elected every four years. Half of the ten States Members are elected every two years for a four-year mandate, which means that every four years the composition of the parliament changes completely. The last election was held on 6 December 2008, and the turnout of over 700 people produced a frequency of 65.6%. The whole island is a single constituency.
Although the origins of the States of Alderney are unknown, it has functioned since the Middle Ages, making it one of the world’s older parliaments.
Until the reform of 1948, the States of Alderney consisted of:
- Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey
- the Judge (appointed by the Crown, equivalent of the Bailiff in Guernsey and Jersey)
- 6 Jurats (elected by the voters)
- the officers of the Court of Alderney
- 4 Douzainiers (elected annually by the ratepayers)
- a Douzainier-Delegate (appointed by the Douzaine)
- 3 People's Deputies (elected by the voters for a 3-year mandate)