Jersey could get new treason law

People in Jersey suspected of treason could be tried and sentenced on the island in an attempt to clear up a historical anomaly.

Currently islanders can be arrested on suspicion of treason, but the island's Royal Court cannot try or sentence them.

Instead, cases have to be heard by the Privy Council in England.

A change in the law proposed by Jersey States would give Jersey's Royal Court the right to hear treason cases.

Treason is defined as a serious offence against the States, such as attempting to bomb the States' buildings.

Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom and is self-governing, with its own independent legal system - apart from treason.

The legal anomaly goes back to 1204 when King John of England lost Normandy to France.

However, King John kept the Channel Islands and allowed them to govern themselves, along with forming the Royal Court which determined all civil and criminal cases, except treason.

The proposed change in the law will discussed by the States on 29 April.

There are no figures available from the authorities on how many Jersey people have been accused of treason.

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