Thu 08 Nov 2018

Five things you might not realise about Guernsey, Alderney & Sark

1. The Bailiwick of Guernsey is a Crown Dependency. It does not form part of the United Kingdom and is not a member of the European Union (EU).

2. The Bailiwick of Guernsey has three separate jurisdictions. The islands of Guernsey, Alderney and Sark each have their own parliament and legal system.  The jurisdiction of Guernsey includes the islands of Herm and Jethou. The jurisdiction of Sark includes the island of  Brecqhou.

The legislation of the Bailiwick is published by the Office of Her Majesty's Greffier. Legislation can be accessed via the Guernsey Legal Resources site. Whilst not an EU member state, Guernsey implemented parts of the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD 2) into its own legislation to maintain it's place as a member of the SEPA scheme. When it came to data protection, Guernsey had an EU adequacy decision and decided to maintain that by enacting new legislation for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Property ownership is maintained in the Cadastre Register of Property Ownership. Cadastre also deals with Tax on Real Property.

3. Guernsey has its own Financial Services regulator called the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). Corporate entities incorporated in Guernsey are registered at the Guernsey Registry. The GFSC has put out a warning about an entity named Sark Company Registry as there is no company legislation in Sark.

4. Guernsey has a financial services ombudsman established under the Financial Services Ombudsman (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2014. Guernsey entered into a joint operation with Jersey to form the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO).

5. The Bailiwick of Guernsey has an independent statutory authority that deals with data protection called the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. The Data Protection Commissioner for Guernsey is also the Information Commissioner for Jersey.

The Bailiwick now has a Data Protection Authority which came into force on 25 May 2018.

Morton Fraser do not advise on the laws of the Bailiwick of Guernsey but our teams are happy to work alongside Guernsey law firms. 

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