States Assembly Hold First Virtual Assembly

2nd April 2020

On Thursday 2nd April 2020, Jersey's States Assembly made history by holding their first ever virtual Assembly, the first of its kind not just in Jersey, but in the Commonwealth. 

The virtual sitting made Jersey's States Assembly the first parliament in the Commonwealth to hold a full virtual legislature meeting, with all members able to participate.

The online meeting of States Members was organised in response to coronavirus and ensured States Members could continue with the democratic process while also adhering to current social distancing guidelines.

The virtual meeting allowed States Members to propose legislation, debate and vote on propositions, question Ministers and present statements; the functionality allowed them to continue their duties in full.

Working in conjunction with Digital Jersey, the States Greffe organised for the online meeting to take place. The meeting was live streamed online and local radio stations broadcast the proceedings in the usual way.

The meeting of the Assembly was presided over the Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq who hosted the States Assembly virtually from Digital Jersey's Academy in St Helier.

States Greffier, Mark Egan said "A couple of weeks ago, I never could have imagined being able to stream a virtual parliament within only a matter of days. I am especially grateful to Digital Jersey for supporting this initiative and ensuring that democratic processes can function in these difficult times".

Tony Moretta, Digital Jersey CEO, said "When the Greffier approached me for help and advice to run a virtual States Assembly I had no hesitation in offering both a fantastic venue in our Academy and an outstanding individual in Rory Steel to support the plan.  It was a real pleasure to see what our amazing digital infrastructure and skills can do in Jersey to get even one of our most traditional institutions online."

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