Telling all to the Ministry of Justice: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man

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The House of Commons Justice committee has announced an enquiry into the management of the relationship between the UK’s Ministry of Justice and the Crown Dependencies.



The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey are self-governing dependencies of the UK. These 'Crown Dependencies' have their own directly-elected legislatures together with independent legal, administrative and fiscal systems. UK legislation only extends to them with the consent of the relevant legislatures. The Crown Dependencies are not part of the EU or EEA but they are in the Customs territory of the EU which means they can benefit from free movement provisions.

The UK Government is constitutionally responsible for the international representation of the Crown Dependencies. The Ministry of Justice is the UK Department with policy responsibility for managing the UK's relationship with the Crown Dependencies.*

Recent events, for example, the impact of the banking crisis on the Crown Dependencies, have brought the Ministry of Justice's role in relation to the Crown Dependencies into focus.** The Justice Committee has decided to conduct a brief inquiry into the role and performance of the Ministry of Justice in relation to the Crown Dependencies.

The inquiry will focus on:

i) How, in practice, the UK Government represents the Crown Dependencies internationally;

ii) The role of the Ministry of Justice in managing the United Kingdom's relationship with the Crown Dependencies including inter-departmental liaison and coordination; and,

iii) What, if any, changes are required, in terms of either policy or practice in order to improve the Ministry of Justice's management of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies?

These places usually peddle the most massive misinformation to such committees: I will be submitting evidence of what really happens within Jersey, in particular.

But the evidence of the subsidy given to the Isle of Man will also be submitted. I suspect the Committee will be wholly unaware of it, and these things need to be discussed.