An essential guide to Jersey's elected parliament

​If English isn't your first language, you can download the essential guide to Jersey's elected parliament below:

States Assembly Guide - Portugese.pdf

States Assembly Guide - Polish.pdf

States Assembly Guide - French.pdf

States Assembly Guide - Romanian.pdf

What is the States Assembly?

The States Assembly is Jersey's elected parliament and works on behalf of the people

of the Island. The Assembly is made up of 49 States Members who are responsible for:

  • Appointing Ministers to the Government of Jersey
  • Making and approving new laws for Jersey
  • Debating new policies and matters of public interest
  • Approving the amount of tax to be raised
  • Agreeing how public money should be spent by the Government of Jersey
  • Holding the Government to account through Scrutiny


States Members: Jersey's politicians

Connétables (or Constables)

Each of the 12 Parishes has a Connétable, who is responsible for what happens in their Parish. This can include dealing with Parishioners' queries, overseeing the policing of the Parish, and managing everyday matters such as rubbish collections, recycling, dog licences and maintaining roads within the Parish. However, as States Members, they also make decisions that affect the whole Island.

When it comes to elections, you can vote for one Connétable to represent the Parish you live in.



There are 37 Deputies, each of whom represents around 3,000 Islanders in one of nine electoral constituencies. Jersey's less populated Parishes are combined to make multi-Parish constituencies. St Helier is split into three constituencies due to its high population.

Constituencies have between three and five Deputies, depending on their population. When it comes to elections, you can vote for your chosen candidates in your constituency.

Connétables and Deputies all have equal voting rights.


How are States Members chosen?

Every four years Jersey has an Election, where Jersey residents can put themselves forward to become, or be re-elected as, a States Member – also known as standing for election.

Election candidates create manifestos which describe what they would change or improve in Jersey, if elected. They then engage with the public in a range of ways to share their ideas, as well as listen to what Islanders would like to see changed. During the campaign period, members of the public can ask candidates questions at events known as hustings.

On Election Day, anyone in Jersey who is registered to vote then gets to choose who they want to represent them in the States Assembly. Voters choose their preferred candidate for Connétable of their Parish, and the people they want as the Deputies of their constituency.

Candidates with the most votes are elected. Shortly after the Election, the successful candidates are invited to be officially sworn in as States Members in Jersey's Royal Court.

Jersey's last Election took place in June 2022, which means the next Election will take place in 2026.

There are three ways Islanders can vote in Jersey:

  • By post
  • Before Election Day, at Pre-Poll
  • On Election Day, at a Polling Station


States Assembly and Government of Jersey

Once elected, States Members can take on specific roles either within the Government or Committees and Panels, including Scrutiny. All roles are open to all members, whether Connétable or Deputy and regardless of their length of service to the States Assembly.

Government of Jersey

The Government of Jersey is led by a Chief Minister and 11 Ministers, collectively known as the Council of Ministers. When a new Assembly is elected, these are the first roles to be appointed. Each Minister has a specific area of responsibility, such as Children and Education or Health and Social Services. Ministers can nominate Assistant Ministers to support their work.

States Assembly, including Scrutiny

Members of the Assembly who are not in Government are known as the non-executive. These States Members come together to form Scrutiny Panels and Committees that check, challenge and recommend improvements to changes proposed by the Government.


Members can also serve on Committees, such as Privileges and Procedures (which oversees the Parliamentary process), the States Employment Board (which oversees the management of the Public Sector staff) and the Planning Committee, which decides upon contentious land-use applications.


What happens in States Meetings?

The States Assembly meets in the States Chamber every three weeks to discuss and debate propositions that Members have lodged. Propositions are debate topics, and all 49 elected

Members have the right to lodge a proposition.

Meetings begin with States Members asking Ministers questions about what is happening in their areas of responsibility. Then, States Members debate the propositions listed on the Order Paper one by one. At the end of each debate, States Members vote to decide what should happen next.

When States Members vote on propositions they have three options:

  • Pour, meaning in favour;
  • Abstain if they feel unable to vote in favour or against; or
  • Contre, meaning against.

If a majority of Members vote in favour of a proposition, it is adopted. If the majority vote against, then it is rejected. You can check States Members' voting records on the States Assembly website.


How are Jersey Laws made?

Laws are the rules that apply to everyone in the Island. They tell us how the Island is run, and what we should and should not do. From traffic laws to determine which side of the road we drive on, to laws about marriage, Jersey's laws are made by States Members during official

States Meetings.

When States Members want to change a Law, they have to prepare a report and proposition to explain why the Assembly should consider the matter.

Their proposition is then 'lodged au Greffe', which means it is put forward to all States Members before it is debated so that Members have time to think about and research the issue. Sometimes Members might decide to lodge amendments to a proposition before a debate.

The proposition, along with any amendments (proposed changes), is then placed on the Order Paper (or agenda) for debate at a future States Meeting.

When a new law or change to the law is adopted, it is then sent to the King who must give approval before it becomes an official new law which we all have to uphold.


What is Scrutiny?

Scrutiny Panels and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) work on behalf of the States Assembly. They examine and investigate the work of the Government. They do this by reviewing and publishing reports on:

  • Government policy
  • Proposed new laws and changes to existing laws
  • Work and expenditure of the Government
  • Issues of public importance

The role of States Members on Scrutiny is to hold Government Ministers to account for their decisions and actions. This helps improve government policies, legislation and public services.


Scrutiny Panels and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

There are five Scrutiny Panels and the PAC, which review different parts of

the Government.

  • Children, Education & Home Affairs Panel
  • Health and Social Security Panel
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • Economic and International Affairs Panel
  • Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel
  • Corporate Services Panel


Scrutiny reviews

Scrutiny Panels and the Public Accounts Committee carry out reviews by gathering and examining evidence from various stakeholders. This includes the Government, Islanders and experts on the subject they are reviewing.


Panels choose topics to review by looking at the Government's work programme. They also identify topical issues in the Island. They can look at any issues of public interest, including topics suggested by members of the public.


Get involved

As a member of the public, there are several ways you can share your opinions on topics being reviewed:

  • Complete surveys online
  • Email
  • Telephone 01534 441020

 You can also watch/listen to public hearings either in the States building or online.


Non-elected States Members and Officers

There are several non-elected members who sit in the States Assembly, some of whom have the right to speak in States Meetings, but none of them can vote on propositions.

The Bailiff of Jersey is appointed by the King as President of the States. He Chairs States Meetings and ensures that Members act in accordance with the Standing Orders, the 'rules' of the States Assembly. The Deputy Bailiff acts in the Bailiff's absence.

His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor is the King's personal representative in Jersey. The

Lieutenant-Governor traditionally only speaks twice in the Assembly; once on arrival and then at the end of their five-year term of office.

The Law Officers: H.M. Attorney General and H.M. Solicitor General are legal advisors to the Assembly. They are available to explain and advise on the laws of Jersey to help Members have an informed debate.

In Law, the Viscount is the executive officer of the States Assembly. In extreme circumstances, they are responsible for ensuring the removal of anyone excluded from the States Chamber.

Otherwise, the Viscount helps to count any ballots taken during States Meetings and carries the Mace before the Bailiff at the beginning of each Meeting. The Viscount can attend Meetings, but has neither the right to speak nor to vote. The Deputy Viscount acts in the Viscount's absence.

The Dean of Jersey is the leader of the Church of England in the Island. The Dean leads the Assembly in prayer at the start of each States Meeting. During debates, the Dean can make speeches. States Members can ask the Dean parliamentary questions relating to the Church.

The Greffier and Deputy Greffier of the States support the work of the Assembly and keep records of States debates and votes. The Greffier sits at a desk in front of the Bailiff to be on hand to give advice on parliamentary business and procedures.


Quick Glossary

Amendments: States Members can lodge amendments (changes) to propositions, debated after the relevant proposition has been proposed.

Constituency: There are nine electoral constituencies and each has roughly one Deputy for every 3,000 residents, so that you are equally represented in the States Assembly, no matter where you live.

Connétable (or Constable): Head of a Parish, elected by those living in the Parish.

Deputy: A member of the States Assembly who represents one of nine electoral constituencies.

Election: The voting process to select a person for a public position.

Election campaign: The period of time immediately before an Election when candidates ask Islanders to support and vote for them on Election Day.

Executive: States Members who hold a Ministerial role as part of the Government.

Government: States Members who are Ministers and oversee Government areas of responsibility.

Hustings: A meeting held before an election at which candidates answer questions from members of the public.

Manifesto: A set of aims and intentions that give the public an idea of what a candidate would do if elected.

Non-executive: States Members who do not hold a Ministerial role. Sometimes known as 'backbenchers'.

Order Paper: The agenda for a States Meeting.

Petition: A collection of Islanders' signatures in support of a cause or change.

Polling station: Where Islanders can go to vote on Election Day.

Pre-poll: Where Islanders can go to vote in the run up to Election Day.

Proposition: A debate topic that is proposed to the States Assembly to make or change a law.

Scrutiny: Committees and Panels run by non-executive States Members to hold Government to account.

States Assembly: Jersey's elected parliament.

Sworn in: When newly-elected States Members swear an oath which includes a

promise to attend all States Meetings and pledge allegiance to the Crown.


Five ways to have your say on Island issues that matter to you

1.      Talk to your elected representatives at their drop-in surgeries


2.      Share your views on current Scrutiny review topics


3.      Phone or email the elected representatives for your constituency


4.      Start or sign a petition on current local issues


5.      Vote in Island-wide and Parish elections

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