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Last of England's French Possessions page 2

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We have spoken of the Norman Islands as England's last possession in France. To this day they are not English. Strictly speaking, they belong to the Crown rather than to the nation. They are held by Great Britain in the right of the Sovereign, rather than by the Sovereign in the right of Great Britain.

Acts of the British Parliament do not apply to the Channel Islands, unless specially stated therein.

Jersey and Guernsey each have a Parliament of their own - "the States." In effect, they are miniature republics. They regard Home Rule not as a privilege conferred on them in modern times, but as an ancient right. In Jersey the Bailiff is virtually life president. He presides over the Parliament. His throne-like chair in the beautiful Salle des Etats is larger and higher than that of the Lieutenant-Governor, the king's representative, who is supreme in military matters only, and though he may address the States and exercise a veto, he has no vote. The States consist of twelve Jurats, twelve Rectors, and twelve Connetables (all representing the twelve parishes into which the island is divided), seventeen deputies, and two Crown Officers. The deliberations are in the French language. The Royal Court is presided over by the Bailiff (as chief magistrate) and twelve Jurats. From the island courts there is appeal, not to the High Courts of England, but to the King in Council. The business of the courts is transacted in French.

The system of government in Guernsey is somewhat similar to that of the sister island. Alderney, too, has a local Parliament, but under the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey. Sark is private property. By inheritance and sales it has descended from Sir Philip de Carteret to the present seigneur - a lady known as La Dame de Serq. It boasts a court of its own, "the Court of Chief Pleas," the members being the holders of the forty indivisible holdings previously referred to. The smaller inhabited islands of the group, Herm, Jethou and Brechou, are private property. Away to the south lies the Grand lie, which, with a long chain of uninhabited rocks, known as lies Chausey, belongs to France.

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