Overseas Chambers of Peter Harris

Maison de la Boucterie
Rue de la Boucterie
Saint Saviour
Jersey, JE2 7ZW

Brexit: does the Writ of Parliament extend to the Crown Dependencies? The "British" Feodal law certainly does not.

August 15th 2016

Published on Linked In today:

Some ask for holiday reading whilst bronzing themselves on foreign sands.

Those who have chosen other jurisdictions than Jersey, Guernsey or even the Isle of Man for their congés might wish to read through the following ancient judgments by various jurisdictions concerning the absence of any writ running to the Crown Dependencies in feodal matters. The issue is not so much that they are ancient, but that they are continuous precedent for the present running back to the Norman Conquest. Better law you cannot find, but then lawyers were always a political inconvenience. [The Sides taken in the wars of the Roses were apparently chosen by plucking a rose of the relevant colour from the bushes in the Middle Temple Garden].

Horticultural issues aside, that is of considerable importance in relation to whether any writ or writing of United Kingdom government or Parliament can run to them, given the sovereignty issues involved.

I am not sure whether any poor herald would be forced to eat and swallow the Great Seal if service was attempted, but the Marcher Lords did provide some precedent for that in tymes gonne bye ....,

Happy reading:

In the matter of the petition of Francis Godfray, Esq., and four other Advocates of the Royal Court of the Island of Jersey, against the confirmation of an Act passed by the States of that Island, on the 7th of July, 1859, for opening the Bar of the Royal Jersey,

Source acknowledged to be the Jersey Legal Information Board legal update. Interesting that this should be brought up from off the foreshore, at the end of a lance at the current time!

The Privy Council is clear.  There is absolutely no precedent for British feodal law to be assumed to have any sway in the CDs.  The situation might be  likened to a Tug of War in which each party's claims are held in a prescriptive equilibrium, which the United Kingdom Government, whether by prerogative or act has never been able to assert or pull hard enough to move the ribbon over the line legally.

To coin an old Pirate Radio quip about towing itself outside the five mile limit, can the UK Government tow the Channel Islands and the Minquiers Reef  out of the Baie de Mont Saint Michel?  Probably not without a slightly larger Navy. The position of the Isle of Man closer to Eire, with probably better defined cultural links to the Norse influenced coastal and Island areas of Scotland is more interesting.

Leaving the CDs under the EU parasol under their current Arrangements might actually be a very wise move, legally, politically and economically!

Possession by hook or by crook being in this case 9 parts of the law, then a reading of the United Kingdom's submissions in the 1953  Minquiers and Ecrehos Case is to be recommended: caveat lector to the extent that the British ducal Crowns or coronets are  not confused with that of the United Kingdom.

In case anyone reads this as anything other than light-hearted legal commentary, I would suggest having it confirmed under the adage many a true word spoken in jest.