Where did your government come from?
In the beginning
Until 800 years ago Guernsey was considered part of Normandy.
In 1204, King John lost Normandy which he had ruled along with England for many years.
This led to years of confusion about who the Channel Islands belonged to. However, in 1221, King Henry III of England declared that the islands should be governed according to their own laws and not be part of England.
This is why, to this day, Guernsey is not English.
The development of the States
The first record of a “States-like” meeting dates back to 1429.
Guernsey’s first nine Deputies were elected in 1900, their number increasing to 18 in 1928 and 33 in 1948. These days, the States of Guernsey is made up of 38 Deputies as well as two elected representatives from Alderney.
On 1 May 2016, following a change to the structure of Guernsey’s political system, the number of Deputies was reduced from 45 to 38 and the number of States’ committees was also reduced. The senior committee is now the Policy & Resources Committee.
This change was as a result of the work of the States Review Committee and the subsequent decisions made by the States of Deliberation in 2015.
Relationship with the Crown and United Kingdom
Guernsey is a Crown Dependency. Guernsey’s primary legislation requires Royal Assent. The British Government also has some responsibility for Guernsey, for example in defence and international relations. However, in practical terms, Guernsey has a considerable degree of autonomy and is largely self-governing.