Review launched into decision-making processes within External Relations

28th January 2020

The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has today announced that it will review various key processes within External Relations. Specifically, the review will explore the relationship between the States Assembly and the Department in how decisions are made.

The Minister for External Relations, alongside the Chief Minister, is responsible for the conduct of Jersey’s external relations in accordance with the common policy of the Council of Ministers. The Panel’s preliminary work on this topic has found that there is no requirement for the common policy to be debated by the States Assembly and that only two have been presented to the States (the first in 2012 and the second in 2015).

The common policy covers the historical, political and constitutional context for Jersey’s external relations and also sets out six principles for the conduct of external relations.

The Panel’s review will explore this further, as well as the lines of ministerial accountability, and how the States Assembly considers decisions made on external relations matters.

Deputy Kirsten Morel, Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Panel said: “We believe that this review is important because there are a number of decisions made on external affairs matters that require scrutiny outside of the Council of Ministers.

This review will help us understand what kinds of decisions are being made and which aren’t coming before the States Assembly or scrutiny. We will then have a better understanding of the workings of the External Relations Department and will be better placed to suggest ways of ensuring that its decisions are made with the appropriate checks and balances.”

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