Clameur de Haro

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The Clameur de Haro is an ancient legal procedure used in slightly different formats throughout the Channel Islands. It is designed to produce an immediate injunction when property is under threat in any way.

In Jersey the aggrieved party must raise the Clameur as close as possible to the scene of the act complained of, by clasping their hands while on bended knee and bare-headed and reciting "Haro! Haro! Haro! à l'aide, mon Prince, on me fait tort" (Haro! Haro! Haro! Help me, my prince, I am being wronged.)

The meaning of these words is subject to some dispute. Traditionally Haro has been held to be a reference to Rollo, first Duke of Normandy, but the alternative view is that this is a general word to attract attention ('hear-ye'), although the Prince whose aid is sought may still be a reference to Rollo. See link below to detailed website on the Clameur de Haro throughout the Channel Islands.

There must be two witnesses to the raising of the Clameur, following which the action complained of must be immediatedly halted. The complaint must be reported to the Attorney-General, who will bring the matter before the Royal Court at the earliest opportunity.

If the Court finds that the Clameur has been properly raised, the defendant faces a fine; if improperly raised, it is the complainant who will have to pay a penalty. The amount of the fine is at the discretion of the Court.

The Clameur is still in use and recent cases have involved allegations that one farmer has grown a crop on another's land and allegations of encroachment on a landowners's property by an overhead crane working on an adjoining property.

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