Lieutenant-Governor will be able to ratify Guernsey laws without privy council approval

Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell will soon be able to approve local laws without requiring a privy council meeting. Credit: Office of the Lieutenant-Governor

Guernsey's Lieutenant-Governor will soon be able to give Royal Assent to local laws on the island.

Currently, new legislation needs to be ratified by a privy council in the UK, as is the case in Jersey.

However, in the Isle of Man, the Governor is able to give the approval of new laws without having to wait for a privy council meeting.

The issue was recently raised at a Justice Select Committee hearing on the constitutional status of Crown Dependencies in Westminster.

The UK minister responsible for the crown dependencies, Mike Freer MP, says the government is working on plans for Guernsey's Lieutenant-Governor to "signify assent to the majority of Bailiwick legislation" and they are "nearing finalisation".

He also suggested a similar approach could be taken in Jersey if the island requested it.

However, Jersey's Chief Minister says that is not something that is likely to change.

  • Mike Freer MP facing questions from the Justice Select Committee

In a statement to ITV News, Deputy Kristina Moore said: "Ministers are considering options for further enhancing our own legislative autonomy...

"We don’t currently expect changes to our own Royal Assent processes to form part of this work."

Once implemented in Guernsey, it will mean that new local laws would no longer need to have to wait for a privy council before they become ratified, potentially speeding up the legislative process.

The change is set to be a significant departure from the long-standing constitutional relationship between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK.

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