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Constitutional Information

Guernsey is a self governing community of some 60,000 people.  The total land area is 24 square miles (63 square kilometres).

It is a dependency of the English Crown, owing allegiance to the Monarch in her capacity as successor to the Dukes of Normandy.  (In 1066 William the Conqueror added the Crown of England to his existing role as Duke of Normandy; in 1204 King John lost continental Normandy but retained the Channel Islands.  They are not part of the United Kingdom but are part of the British Islands).

The Island has a special relationship with the European Union, defined in Protocol No. 3 to the 1973 Treaty of Accession by which the UK joined the Community.  Guernsey is not represented in the European Parliament, does not contribute to Union revenues and does not qualify for Union grants.  Guernsey retains the power to set its own levels of taxation, direct and indirect.

The Island parliament is responsible for all aspects of government, with the exception of foreign relations and defence.  Her Majesty's Government is reimbursed by the Island for any service performed on its behalf in those areas.

English Acts of Parliament do not apply automatically to the Bailiwick unless expressly mentioned however they are often extended to be applicable in the islands and adopted.

The States of Guernsey constitute the parliament or legislature.  Full administrative powers, including the power to levy taxation, are also vested in the States, but are delegated via the machinery of government.

For information on how the States of Guernsey creates legistation, please see the Enactment of Legistation page of the website.