The Jersey Law Review, founded in 1997, has changed its name, with effect from 1st January 2007, to the Jersey and Guernsey Law Review. The first issue of the revised title was published in February 2007.
The change was brought about by the desire of many lawyers in both Jersey and Guernsey to work more closely together and to emphasize the common elements of the jurisprudence of both bailiwicks. The story of the political autonomy and judicial independence of both Jersey and Guernsey begins in 1204. In that year King John of England lost the duchy of Normandy (which at that time included the Channel Islands) to the French King Philippe Auguste. King John, seeking to preserve the loyalty of the Islanders to their King/Duke, conferred a number of constitutional privileges. He established separate administrations for each bailiwick and decreed that they would continue to be governed by their own laws, essentially the customary law of Normandy. From that time the legal systems of both Islands have developed from those appropriate for insular agricultural economies to systems adapted to the needs of thriving international financial centres.
From this common root of Norman customary law, therefore, the jurisprudence of the two bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey has developed. The bailiwick of Guernsey includes the two smaller Islands of Alderney and Sark, each of which has its own autonomy in certain respects. It is at first blush extraordinary that in the small area covered by the Channel Islands two distinct judicial systems and two
corpora juris (four, if one takes account of the different rules for the smaller islands) should have survived for over 800 years.
The Jersey and Guernsey Law Review exists to promote “the development of the laws of Jersey and Guernsey and the encouragement of interest therein.” It contains articles on a wide variety of subjects that will be of interest beyond the Channel Islands not only to judges and lawyers of other small jurisdictions but also to students of comparative law. Information on how to subscribe will be found on the page headed “Subscriptions”. A cumulative subject-matter index will help to guide the reader to relevant articles or information. With the agreement of the Editorial Board, all issues published more than twelve months ago will be available online.
Each Issue of each Volume will be posted to the site one year after the date of its original publication.