Law & Administration
Jersey has its own government, administration and judiciary which are primarily based in St Helier and supported by the States of Jersey civil service.
Most criminal trials take place in the Magistrate’s Court, Union Street, St Helier. Magistrates in Jersey differ from those in the UK in that they are examining Magistrates. The Magistrate’s Court sits weekdays at 10am and 2:30pm. The Petty Debts Court, also located in Union Street, sits Wednesdays at 10am to consider debts, evictions and cases under the Separation and Maintenance Orders Law. The Petty Debts Court handles cases in which the recovery of debt or other liquidated claims does not exceed £10,000.
More serious cases are dealt with at the Royal Court, which is presided over by the Bailiff, the Deputy Bailiff or a Commissioner (appointed by the Bailiff) who sits with two Jurats who act as lay assessors. The Inferior Number of the Court (Judge and two Jurats) can impose a sentence of up to four years imprisonment. More serious cases are dealt with by the Superior Number (Judge and at least five Jurats).
Cases involving common law such as grave and criminal assault or indecent assault where there is a not guilty plea are heard by the Assizes, which consists of the Bailiff or his Deputy with a jury of 12 individuals. Anyone between the age of 25 and 65 is liable to be called for jury service, although there are exceptions.
Court of Appeal
This Court adjudicates appeals filed in criminal and civil matters. The Bailiff is the president of the Court of Appeal. Ordinary judges of the Court of Appeal are appointed by Her Majesty from among persons who hold or have held judicial office in the Commonwealth and/or are distinguished barristers practising in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.
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