Guernsey is a self-governing jurisdiction with its own independent legal system and jurisprudence, which gives it a special relationship with both the UK and the European Union.

The island’s parliamentary assembly, the States of Deliberation, has complete political and legislative independence from the United Kingdom in all matters except foreign affairs, defence, and other matters touching upon the Royal Prerogative.

Presided over by the island’s chief justice, the Bailiff, the Royal Court is Guernsey’s principal court and exercises both civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Additional courts, such as the Magistrate’s Court, which deals with minor criminal matters, and the Court of Appeal, which hears appeals from the Royal Court, have been added to the island’s legal system over the years.

Relations with Europe

Guernsey is not a member of the European Union but has an established ‘third country’ relationship with the EU.

Some EU legislation applies to Guernsey under these third country provisions.

The island is carefully planning for when the UK leaves the EU although it expects to remain largely unaffected and continues to provide a ‘safe haven’ amid continued Brexit uncertainty.

Got a question? We’re here to help.

Our Open Market team have a wealth of experience in helping individuals and families relocate to Guernsey.

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