No call to change Guernsey's Bailiff's role

Image caption,
Deputy Rihoy said there was no appetite for change in Guernsey

The role of Guernsey's bailiff should remain unchanged for the foreseeable future according to the States Assembly and Constitution Committee.

The committee discussed changes to the role after a report in Jersey recommended splitting the dual responsibilities of their bailiff.

In both islands the bailiff is head of state and head of the judiciary.

Committee Chairman Ivan Rihoy said there was no evidence to suggest the two roles created a conflict.

He said: "We don't believe there's a conflict between the bailiff's role as the presiding officer of the States of Deliberation and his judicial role as chief judge.

"It seems to work very well, it's an historical role in Guernsey."

Deputy Rihoy said no legal case had found the two aspects of the role clashed.

He said: "If you start taking away certain responsibilities that the Bailiff now has then you're going to demise, if you like, very slowly his civic position on the island as he is the head of state.

"We obviously have a governor, who represents the Queen, but the bailiff is the head of the island and we wouldn't like to see that demise in any way."

Deputy Rihoy said the committee's legal advisors said there was "no legal requirement for us to even consider trying to separate the role".

He said there was not the same pressure to change in Guernsey as had been seen in Jersey, which has reviewed the position of its bailiff three times since 1947.

Deputy Rihoy said if the role in Jersey was split the question remained as to who preside over the States in place of the bailiff.

"There is no appetite to change things and move the way Jersey are trying to go down and we'll try and keep where we are," he added.

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