The Bailiff is appointed by the sovereign by letters patent under the Great Seal, holding office during Her Majesty's pleasure.
The installation of the Bailiff takes place at a ceremonial sitting of the full Royal Court. In recent years, due to increasing numbers of guests, the installation has taken place in St. James Concert and Assembly Hall. The current Bailiff, Mr Richard J Collas, was sworn in on 23rd March, 2012. The swearing-in ceremony is traditionally followed by a procession of the Royal Court, a service at the Town Church and a States Lunch.
The Bailiff's installation is traditionally attended by members of the Court, the Lieutenant-Governor, the Bailiff of Jersey, the First Deemster of the Isle of Man, a representative from the Ministry of Justice, the Guernsey Bar, States members, representatives from Herm, Sark and Alderney, local clergy and other local dignitaries. Guests are invited to wear (where applicable) robes, uniforms and decorations.
As the outgoing Bailiff will have retired and will not be available to preside over the installation ceremony, it is necessary to appoint a Juge-Délégué for this purpose. The Juge-Délégué performs the judicial functions of the Bailiff while the office is vacant. The appointment of a Juge-Délégué is provided for under the terms of the Royal Court of Guernsey (Miscellaneous Reform Provisions) Law, 1950. Under this Law, it is the Jurats who are responsible for determining who should be appointed to this role. Customarily, it is the Senior Jurat who is appointed to the position of Juge-Délégué. However, the Law does not require that the Juge-Délégué should necessarily be appointed from within the Jurats themselves. The Juge-Délégué is usually sworn in to the office some weeks beforehand, normally at the final sitting of the full Royal Court at which the retiring Bailiff presides.
During the installation ceremony, the Juge Délégué examines the Letters Patent and if he or she is satisfied with their validity, asks the Bailiff-Designate to take the Oath of Office. HM Procureur reads the Letters Patent and then the Bailiff-Designate steps forward to take the Oath. Following the Oath, the HM Greffier presents the Seal of the Bailiwick in its casket to the Bailiff. The Bailiff opens the casket to inspect the Seal, without removing it, then closes the casket and returns it to HM Greffier. The Bailiff then takes the Oath of Judge of the Guernsey Court of Appeal. The Bailiff retires, robes and returns to take his seat with the members of the Court as Bailiff of Guernsey.
After the ceremony, the procession, consisting of members of the Court, the Guernsey Bar, representatives from Herm, Sark and Alderney and local clergy, assemble outside the main entrance to the Royal Court Building and process to the Town Church through the centre of St Peter Port under the direction of HM Sheriff. On arrival at the Town Church, the Lieutenant-Governor and the Bailiff inspect the Guard of Honour before entering the Church Service.
All images taken by and copyright of Brian Green.