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24 September 2014
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Jersey is a direct dependency of the British crown. It is not incorporated into the United Kingdom, but it does owe allegiance to the reigning Sovereign.

The Sovereign is represented in the island by the Lieutenant Governor, but the island has its own legislative and taxation systems, which are a blend of Norman and English.

The States of Jersey

Jersey's government is the States of Jersey, which is one of the oldest legislative bodies in the world. Although the Lieutenant Governor attends the States, he takes no part in the debates.

Instead it is presided over by the Bailiff, who is appointed by the Crown. He is President of the Assembly and acts as its Speaker.

He is also President of the Royal Court. He has no political power, but he does have the right of speech. There is also a Deputy Bailiff, who acts in the Bailiff's absence.

As well as this, there is an Attorney General and a Solicitor General, who are law officers appointed by the Crown. They have the right to speak but not to vote, and often explain or clarify points of law raised during debates.

Elected independent members

The rest of the States is composed of 53 elected independent members. This breaks down into 12 constables, 12 senators and 29 deputies.

Each constable is civic head of one of the island's 12 parishes, as well as being head of the Honorary Police of that parish. The Honorary Police force contains Centeniers, Vingteniers and Constable's Officers, and they are there to assist the ordinary police.

Other officials unique to Jersey include the Viscount (who deals with bankruptcy and inquests), the Greffiers, who are clerks of the courts, and the States Assembly.

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