There are ten ecclesiastical parishes which act as civil administration districts with limited powers. There are seven States electoral districts comprising either a single parish or more than one parish. St Peter Port being the largest most populous parish is split into two districts.
The main body in each parish, the Douzaine, is usually made up of twelve members known as Douzeniers. There are exceptions, the Vale having sixteen and St Peter Port having twenty.
Each parish also elects two Parish Constables who historically had criminal investigative powers and also supervision of foreigners residing in the parish. The Parishioners elect the Constables for a maximum term of three years. Office holders are able to stand for re-election.
Although in times past it was a requirement in some parishes for the Douzeniers to have previously served as Constables the opposite is now the case with the Constables being elected from amongst the Douzeniers.
Douzaine meetings are usually convened monthly. The responsibilities of Douzeniers include the supervision of the polls at general and parochial elections, granting permits to build near to highways, issuing dog licences and ensuring that hedges are cut. They organise the collection of rubbish, administer the parish cemeteries and carry out other routine administration tasks.
The Douzaines levy an Occupiers Rate on properties providing funding for the running of the administration, general maintenance and ecclesiastical needs.
Until 2004 each Douzaine was represented in the States of Deliberation by an elected member.
Each Douzaine nominates a Douzenier or Douzeniers (according to the size of the population) to be a member of the States of Election which is assembled when necessary to elect a new Jurat.