States Member

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States Members leaving the Assembly in 1913 from La Chronique de Jersey

The members of Jersey's parliament, the States, are known collectively as States Members.

Today there are 53 elected members, 12 Senators, 12 Constables and 29 Deputies.

The States Assembly originated at an unknown time, before 1524. It developed as an offshoot of the Royal Court, the assembly of the Bailiff and Jurats which had previously been responsible for all aspects of island administration, including the creation of new legislation and the administration of justice. At some point, probably in the early 16th century, the Constables and Rectors of the 12 parishes were co-opted to advise the Court and eventually the assembly of Bailiff, 12 Jurats, 12 Rectors and 12 Jurats became known as the States of Jersey

Of these, the Rectors were appointed for life, the Jurats, initally appointed but subsequently elected by property owners, also for life; and the Constables were elected for three-year terms. In the 19th century it was accepted that the States, which by then functioned entirely apart from the Court, with the exception that the Bailiff was, as he remains to this day, the president of both assemblies, should have broader representation of the whole population.

Fourteen Deputies, first elected in 1857, were added to the House. It's composition then remained unchanged until the Second World War. After the War a major review of the island's government was undertaken and the Jurats and Rectors ceased to be States Members, being replaced by 12 Senators, elected on an all-island franchise to serve for nine years (subsequently reduced to six), and an additional 14 Deputies, representing constituencies which were either whole parishes or divisions of the larger parishes.

Today the composition of the house remains the same, with the addition of an extra Deputy, so that St Ouen, St Peter, St John, St Mary, Trinity, St Martin and Grouville have one Deputy each, St Lawrence and St Clement two each, St Brelade three in two districts, St Saviour five in three districts, and St Helier ten in three districts.

The Bailiff, or his Deputy, is the president, or speaker of the assembly and the Dean and Attorney-General both have the right to attend and speak, but not to vote.

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