Visiting the States Chamber
When do the States meet?
Visitors are very welcome to the public gallery of the States Chamber during a States meeting, which usually runs from 9.30am until 12.45pm and from 2.15pm until 5.30pm. Most meetings start on a Tuesday and will continue into Wednesday and Thursday in order to complete consideration of any outstanding items of public business.
Schedule of States meetings
Where is the entrance?
The public entrance to the States Chamber is located at the top of Halkett Place by the traffic lights. The gates are opened about half an hour before the start of the meeting.
Are there any rules I need to follow?
A security guard is based at the entrance. He or she is instructed to search visitors and their belongings before allowing entry into the public gallery of the States Chamber. The security guard will also remind visitors that they must follow these basic rules when visiting the States Chamber:
- no eating or drinking
- no photographs may be taken and the public cannot film or record the meeting
- switch off mobile phones (they interfere with the recording system). States Members incur a £10 fine each time their mobile phone rings in the Chamber. The Presiding Officer may fine you if your phone should ring
- be as quiet as possible when entering or leaving the public gallery
- do not comment on the proceedings or express your opinion loudly
- do not interrupt the proceedings in any way
The Presiding Officer is allowed to ask the States usher to remove you from the public gallery if you do not follow these rules.
Where should I sit?
When you enter the public gallery, try to sit near the front where you will get a better view. The Chamber is curved and the seating on the left and right sides of the gallery offer the best views of the proceedings.
If you arrive before the meeting begins you must stand when the usher announces the arrival of the Presiding Officer and remain standing until he takes his seat. You are also required to stand when the States adjourns and the Presiding Officer leaves the Chamber and during prayers, which are normally led by the Dean of Jersey, in French.
Who sits in the States Chamber?
When you arrive in the gallery you will see that there are 2 raised chairs in the centre of the Chamber. The occupant of the lower seat is the Lieutenant-Governor whilst the person on the right in the higher seat is the Presiding Officer (usually the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff).
The 2 seats in front of the Governor and Bailiff are where the Greffier of the States and his staff sit.
Members sit in sections according to their elected positions.
On the far right (adjacent to the Bailiff’s seat) is where the Senators are located. On the near right are the 12 Connétables. The 29 Deputies take up the remainder of the seats, although the majority are seated on the left side of the Chamber.
In the back row on the far left sit the Dean of Jersey and the Law Officers and, in front of them, in the furthest seat on the second row, sits the Viscount. It is his responsibility to carry the Royal Mace into the Chamber whenever the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff are presiding and he also oversees any elections within the Chamber, along with the Law Officers.
The States Greffe staff member in the far left corner operates the recording equipment so that a transcript of the proceedings can be made.
On the right of the Bailiff sits the usher, whose job it is to circulate papers around the Chamber without interrupting the proceedings. The usher also carries the Royal Mace from the Chamber and announces the arrival of the Presiding Officer at the beginning of the meeting.
Download current Chamber seating plan