Jersey’s judicial system is composed of various persons with diverse roles who are there to administer justice, help or represent individuals, or to assist in the general functioning of the system. Here we consider the main players in the civil justice system, where generally, consumers interact with the judiciary system in Jersey.
The civic head of the Bailiwick of Jersey is the Bailiff, currently Sir William Bailhache, who serves as both head of the Island’s judiciary (the Island’s court and justice system) and also as President of the States Assembly (the legislative assembly; although he typically has a non-voting role in the Assembly more akin to the role of a Parliament Speaker, this is the area of the role currently under review).
There is a Deputy Bailiff who assists the Bailiff in his various functions, and Commissioners who are additional judges who sit in our Royal Court (and are sometimes themselves former Bailiffs).
Judges (Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or Commissioners) will often sit alongside Jurats. Jurats are lay members of the Court elected by the Members of the States Assembly and the Island’s lawyers, and who act as judges of fact. Their role is to evaluate the truth of a matter from the evidence put before them, and to determine the sentence in criminal matters.
Attorney General & Solicitor General
Jersey has both an Attorney General and a Solicitor General. They act essentially as lawyers for the State, representing the Island in international affairs, bringing public prosecutions of alleged criminals, and advising the Island’s government on anything including property matters, employment matters and anything else which such advice may be required for.
The Court system is administered by the Judicial Greffier as head of the Judicial Greffe. This is the arm of the Court system which deals with the filing of papers for court cases, the issuing of Acts of Court, the maintenance of the Island’s Public Registry, and dealing with matters of probate and wills. The Judicial Greffier also undertakes a judicial role in the form of the Master of the Royal Court, who will issue procedural orders and hear various preliminary matters in cases before they reach the full sitting of the Royal Court.
Finally, the Viscount’s Department is the executive arm of the Royal Court, it will serve Court documents on individuals or companies in the Island, effect wage arrests on those made the subject of such orders, and otherwise carry out Court enforcement duties. The Viscount also fulfils the role of the Island’s coroner, and administers bankruptcies.
Digital Assets … Spare them a thought
Digital assets should be viewed as a form of property. They can be transferred or bequeathed to those who you wish to receive them by way of a will.
What you will need to consider
Unlike physical property, digital assets are intangible and invisible. The rights of ownership, control and access of digital assets are intertwined with complexities of privacy and security protection as laid out in various service provider policies. It is therefore a good idea to check these before you consider leaving digital assets in your will. Your digital legacy should be divided into ‘digital assets’ and your ‘digital presence’.
will include your music, film and book collections that that you have bought and downloaded online as well as any online bank accounts or investments that you may hold.
includes any social media accounts, e-mail or personal websites which make up your online footprint. In the case of digital presence, many people want to be able to shut down the online accounts of loved ones after their death but may struggle to do so because of the terms of the account’s policy.
It would be extremely useful for your Executor if you could leave a list of your digital assets, details of your digital presence and a list of all of your online shopping accounts with your will or with a loved one. You will then have dealt with your digital legacy as carefully as you have dealt with your tangible assets.
Not Playing Fair?
We can all buy something and suddenly find when we look at the small print, that there are a lot of terms and conditions that seem to make it very difficult to do anything when the goods or services are not quite what they
Not all the small print is necessarily fair or reasonable and that is whyit is important to know that from 27 January, 2010, the Supply of Goods and Services (Jersey) Regulations 2010 may mean that
the person supplying the goods or services cannot actually rely on such an unfair term.
We were delighted to host a great lunchtime seminar all about Wills. The talk had even the hardiest of listener contemplating how soon they would get cracking with making their will. It became quickly evident in our discussions that there would be many complications, family disputes and emotional roller-coaster rides following your passing for your family should you not have taken time to make a Will.
The talk went into details about a variety of areas including:
Own assets abroad? You may want to review your inheritance arrangements
if you own land in the EU – for example a holiday home – you should be aware of the new Regulation 650 / 2012 which came into force
on the 17th August 2015. Unofficially referred to as “Brussels IV”, it means you no longer have to comply with the inheritance rules of the state where your land is located. Jersey law will apply instead.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
From the 2nd November 2015, new legislation will require landlords and letting agents in Jersey to lodge their tenant’s deposits with mydeposits Jersey, a new tenancy deposit protection scheme authorised by the States of Jersey.
The legislation has been introduced to help raise standards in the rental sector by reducing the number of deposit issues between landlords and tenants and providing tenants with better protection from having their deposit unfairly withheld. Tenancy deposit protection has been a huge success in England & Wales for over eight years and deposit related issues are now minimal.Read More
Jersey Citizens Advice is a hub for legal services and many seeking solutions to their legal queries use our service as the first port of call. Whilst none of our staff are lawyers, we enjoy very strong connections with local law firms.
Legal issues are therefore always high on our agenda being the third biggest single issue that our office dealt with 2014, with 1132 advice issues being recorded. The community mediation service is a solution that can help resolve disputes that are below £10,000 in value.Read More
Pensions Update and Top Tips
In the recent UK Budget, George Osborne proposed a significant shake-up of UK pension arrangements, which if introduced, will allow individuals to extract all their pension savings in a lump sum at the point of retirement, subject to their marginal rate of income tax in that year.
Those who require the security of a guaranteed income will still be able to achieve this by purchasing an annuity. If an individual does not want to purchase an annuity, or cash-in their entire pension fund, they can remain invested and access their pension fund over time.Read More
Making Wills in Jersey
Do I need a lawyer to make a Will?
Jersey has strict rules on completion of Wills which are different depending upon whether you are leaving land (Immovable Estate) or other property such as money (Movable Estate). If a Will does not conform to the rules then the Probate Registrar (in relation to a Movable Will) and the Public Registrar (in relation an Immovable Will) may well refuse to accept the document for registration once the testator has died.Read More
Regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission – what does this really mean?
The Commission is the Island’s financial services regulator. It is responsible for regulating and supervising businesses involved in banking, funds, investment, insurance, money service and trust company business – these are “regulated” activities.
If you deal with a regulated business this means that important checks have been carried out by the Commission to try and ensure that it is legitimate and will operate its business to the high standards which the Commission expects. These checks cannot guarantee that everything will run smoothly. However, if the Commission finds that the business has not behaved properly it may be able to take action against the business.Read More